When Jack regained consciousness he felt a little disoriented, wondering for the moment where he was. He was lying on something comfortable and soft, which was nice. There didn't seem to be anything covering him.
He cracked an eye open and was aware of a dim light above and to the left of him. Then he tried to move his arms, and couldn't. It was like he'd stretched his arms and they'd stuck in that position. They seemed to be fastened to something above his head...
~ to do with as I please. ~
That was the last thing he remembered. Then it all came flooding back. What the bloody fucking hell was Daniel playing at?! He didn't like to speculate as to why his wrists were currently fastened to the brass bedhead by leather cuffs. Or why he was naked.
He looked towards the door to the passageway which was slightly ajar. A brighter light suffused through it.
"Um, you've been out for over twenty-four hours - Slave. I was beginning to worry."
"I've been out cold for over twenty-four hours and now you begin to worry?! Wait. You mean this is Monday?"
"It doesn't matter what day it is to you, Slave. If I tell you it's Friday, then it's Friday."
"What? We're due back in Cheyenne Mountain at 0800 - today. You can't very well keep me here - against my will - for very much longer."
"Yes actually, I can."
"No. You can't. What the hell d'ya think Hammond's gonna say?"
"I've already taken care of that. He won't be saying anything - except maybe what wonderful guys we were..."
"Uh-huh. He thinks we're dead - or at least missing. Even now, he could be instigating a search of the lower Andean slopes of the Colombian rain forest where our plane disappeared off the radar..."
Jack listened in stunned silence. Finally he said,
"You are one sick bunny, you know that don't you?"
"So it would be in your interest not to annoy me, wouldn't it?"
Crap. He'd got that scary quiet voice on again. Slave shut the hell up. Silence settled like a blanket over his naked form. It was broken by the death scream of some wild creature and the deep mournful howl of a distant wolf. As if prompted by the sounds outside, Master spoke again.
"Oh, yes. I didn't answer your first question, did I? You wanted to know what I was doing."
He stepped out of the shadows into the pool of light beside the bed, magnificently naked and standing proud.
"Ah, that would be you, Slave."
Jack swore afterwards that his heart stood still at that moment. Then Master climbed on to the bed and reality kicked in. 'Be careful what you wish for,' said his cliché collection.
~ No! Not like this. He's planning to rape me. Doesn't he realize if he wants my ass, he can have it - willingly. This should be beautiful... ~
Master had spread his Slave's legs and was kneeling between them. He squeezed a dollop of lube on to his fingers and touched Slave's anus. Slave whimpered and closed his eyes. The light caught a single tear that escaped from his eyelid and trickled on to the pillow. The fingers were removed as an agonized cry was wrenched from the invader.
"Oh god! Oh god! What am I doing? What have I done?!"
The mattress sprang back as a weight was removed. Footsteps ran from the room.
"Stupid! Stupid!! Stupid!!!"
Daniel was kneeling on the couch, wildly pounding his fists into the cushions as if they were Apophis. When his anguished frenzy had burnt itself out, he curled up in a ball, taking in hoarse gasps of air mixed with muted shuddering sobs. He wrapped his arms over his head as if to shut out that world.
That was how Jack found him. He knelt beside the couch, and laid a hand on Daniel's back. His skin was still hot to the touch.
"Daniel," he murmured, gently shaking him.
"Go away!" said the muffled voice. "You don't want to know me."
"Yes - yes I do, Daniel. You've obviously got some serious shit going on there but - but we can work it out."
"No, no we can't. Not after what I've done to you - what I was going to do to you..."
"But you didn't, Daniel. You stopped."
He laid an arm across Daniel's shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze. Daniel tried to shrug it off.
"I drugged you. And I made you go down on me - at gunpoint. You forgotten that?" he mumbled into the back of the couch.
"Actually no," Jack chuckled, pulling one of Daniel's hands away and raking his fingers through the sweat drenched hair. "Neither has my dick."
"What?" Daniel raised his head sharply and looked at Jack. "A-and how did you escape?"
"Aw, come on, Danny - Special Ops. here, ya know," he grinned. "Piece o' cake! Come on, sit up, and let's see what we can do about this mess."
"You mean... you aren't mad at me?"
"Oh, I'm plenty mad at you, but I figure you didn't go off the deep end like this without a reason. So I'm taking a raincheck until I know what got into you. "
"Oh. Well I accept anything you chose to do to me for this."
Jack cracked a laugh.
"Don't worry, I plan to take it out on your ass later."
Daniel shot him a bemused look, uncertain as to how to take that remark.
"First of all though," Jack went on, "we need to work out what we're going to tell Hammond."
"You're going to tell him - what I - did... to you?" Daniel faltered.
"Huh? Fuck no! I mean about us going missing in Colombia. That's gonna take some explaining."
"Oh." Daniel bit his lip, an impish smile lurking at the corners of his mouth.
"Yes that what's so funny?" Jack asked, as Daniel unmistakably giggled.
"I'm sorry. I really shouldn't laugh. Um, it's still Sunday morning. I only knocked you out for a couple of hours."
"And the tale about sending a message about us being"
"Dead... That was just"
"A tale. Yes Jack."
"You lied to me?! Daniel Jackson, you fucking manipulative bastard!"
"I'm sorry, Jack, really, really sorry," the malefactor said, his face full of contrition.
"So what the hell were you playing at?" Jack demanded, moving over to sit on the couch next to Daniel.
"I was trying to make you think that I really had made you my slave - was going to keep you here"
"Against my will?"
"Against your will, yes Jack, forever - or for a long time anyway. I wanted you to know what slavery is really like."
"Yeah, you said, and I told you, I already got that."
Daniel looked ahead, his eyes fixed on the spring landscape hanging over the fireplace.
"Not really, Jack. You thought the slavery was going to end after twenty-four hours. I wanted to show you that when you're actually a slave, there isn't a time limit on it. You have no control over your life at any time. You're there to be used for whatever purpose your owner wants..."
Jack was watching Daniel's profile as he spoke. His face had a strained, haunted look. A dreadful thought suddenly struck him.
"This isn't just about Sha're and the goo'ld is it? It's happened to you, hasn't it? You tried to tell me and I wasn't listening."
Daniel's shoulders sagged as he nodded and dropped his head as if in shame. Jack choked back tears as he wrapped his arms around him and hugged him fiercely.
"I've never told anyone about it," he whispered.
"Then I think you ought to talk about it now," Jack said quietly, "'cos bottling it up sure hasn't done you any good, has it?"
"No. Erm, don't you think we ought to go put some clothes on. I'm... getting kind of chilly."
"What, even with me to keep you warm?" Jack quipped. "Now I am hurt."
"Please, Jack, don't Just... don't. Not right now anyway," Daniel pleaded, extracting himself from Jack's embrace and heading back to the bedroom.
He returned with a tray loaded with everything the wayward master could possibly want and set it on the coffee table. After he'd handed Daniel his coffee he fussed round, ostentatiously plumping up the cushions, then sat down on the couch, lifted Daniel's legs and laid them across his lap.
"Now, if you're sitting comfortably, perhaps you'll begin?" he asked, trying to keep the sarcastic tone from his voice and failing.
Daniel drank a few mouthfuls of coffee and drew a deep breath.
"It was the summer of '83. I was on a dig in Egypt, not far from Cairo - nothing outstanding - I was just getting experience between semesters. Which was good."
"So you were just eighteen?"
"Yes. The dig gave me a roof - well, a tent - over my head and meals provided. I had nowhere else to go, so it seemed like a good idea at the time... I made friends pretty easily because I could speak the language like a native."
He gave a small reminiscent smile, thinking of better times before his parents died.
"Sorry. Go on."
Daniel drank a little more coffee before he continued.
"I suppose I was flattered that someone so... so drop-dead gorgeous, and so much older than me should pay me so much attention. We soon became lovers - he was my first male lover actually. And... he betrayed me I can't believe I was that stupid - didn't see it coming at all. I must've been the ideal mark - on my own in a foreign country - no family to notice I'd gone missing - 'exotic' blue eyes..."
"It's already occurred to me that they must've gotten you into trouble a time or two," Jack put in.
~ and not just you ~
Daniel gave him a sweet sad smile.
~ and not just the eyes ~
"I realize now that he was just... preparing me. He used to take me - used to?!" He snorted. "It lasted all of five days! Say, he took me then. He took me round the more disreputable parts of Cairo - smoking dens and such."
He shook his head, almost unable to believe the folly of his younger self.
"It seemed very exciting to the all-American boy I'd become since... since the accident. We made love. Ah, no."
He raised a deliberating finger.
"It just seemed that way at the time. Looking back, it was more like we were fucking like minks."
Against his will, a part of Jack responded to that. He hoped Daniel hadn't noticed and was relieved when he showed no sign of having done so.
"We smoked hashish - and probably other things as well - certainly on that last night. He'd taken me to yet another den in that warren of narrow alleyways. We were in a dimly lit back room. The floor was covered in cushions. In daylight, I guess it would've looked very sleazy and run-down. The whole area stank to high heaven, so the air was thick with incense to cover all those other smells." Daniel laughed. "It must have been a health and safety expert's nightmare. But - at the time, it seemed so exotic - romantic almost." He sighed.
"I was pretty well out of my skull. I remember the rattle of the bead curtain as a couple of guys came in. Jamal was smoking a hookah in the opposite corner. One of them handed him a wad of notes. It seemed a little odd, but not odd enough to disturb the few brain cells that were still functioning."
He shook his head again, angry with himself - trying to will history to rewrite itself.
"Jamal nodded at me and they came over. I held my hand out, expecting them to put money in mine too. One guy grabbed my hand, hauled me to my feet and hefted me on to his shoulder. When I started to struggle, the other guy held a cloth over my face. The next I knew, I was in stinking darkness and the floor was heaving. So was I. I figure we were probably about half-way down the Red Sea by then."
He grimaced at the memory. Jack grimaced in sympathy and horror.
"There were two others in the hold. I think they were younger than I was. There was no way out until we got to the end of our journey. I found out later it was the Yemen. We were unloaded at night, bound and gagged and wrapped in old tarpaulins, then stowed in the back of a truck. It was a long, bumpy ride - wasn't helped by a blow-out on the way either."
Daniel paused for a while, looking a little pale. When he took up the tale again, he spoke slowly and more hesitantly. He was becoming more immersed in the past. The effort in dragging the memories from whatever dark place in his psyche they'd been festering for so many years grew greater the further in he went.
"Finally... they carried us out of the truck - one boy and me. Don't know what happened to the other one. Doubt it was good. I was in a real state by then - filthy and smelly... and scared shitless..."
Jack raised his eyebrows. Couldn't imagine Daniel scared of anything. Must've been bad.
"We were still bundled up - couldn't see where we were till they carried us inside the house. When they unwrapped us, we were in a very fine bathroom - luxurious - all pink and grey marble - gold fittings - huge sunken bath in the center of the floor. They cleaned us up. Then an old woman came in... spread - almond oil, I think it was - over our upper bodies. When she'd finished, we were given shalwars to wear - you know, baggy pants like Sinbad. Mine was sky blue with a sequined waistband - they scratched whenever I whenever I bent over. It was the only place where the two pant legs joined... Then the nightmare really began."
He stood up.
"I'm sorry, Jack - I I really need a break..."
He disappeared through the archway in the direction of the kitchen. Jack let him go, thinking he'd probably prefer to be left alone to collect himself. It seemed to be taking him quite a while. Jack was on the point of following him to check he was okay when he returned with a glass half full of whisky. Jack shot him a worried look.
"You okay, Daniel?"
"Not really - not right now. But I think I will be." He looked down at Jack. "You're right. I need to do this. Just don't..."
"I don't know - think badly of me I guess."
"Daniel, I'd never do that," Jack protested.
His own memories slapped him upside the head.
"Even if seems that way sometimes," he temporized. "You can be an irritating bastard at times, but I don't think any the worse of you when you are."
They both grinned.
"That's okay then," Daniel said, slightly relieved.
"Maybe it'd be easier if you didn't have to look at me?"
Jack put one bare foot on the couch and gestured to Daniel to sit between his legs. When he was settled, Jack pulled him gently backwards to lean against his chest and wrapped his arms around him.
"See - I've got you safe now, Daniel," he said reassuring ly.
Daniel laid a spare hand on his arm.
"Thanks," he murmured.
"The Master - I never learned his real name - kept a couple of heavies - Kadar and Mahir. They were Sudanese - bigger than Teal'c, less talkative - and mean. Real mean. In the harem, Mahir set the other boys - there were eight of us altogether - to getting us ready. Wristbands and anklets - blue for me - were strapped on. There was a metal rings attached to each of them. I soon found out what they were for...
"We were made up like girls. They put blue eye shadow on me - I didn't wear glasses then - and vivid red lipstick. I tried to smear it off with my arm, so Kadar whipped me - just once across my buttock. Said that's what happened to those who rebelled - that and - other things..."
Jack's arms tightened around Daniel as if to protect him from the terror he must have felt. Under the circumstances, he was beginning to feel that Daniel had let him off pretty lightly. He wasn't a relatively naïve eighteen-year-old, and if a macho ex-spec. ops. colonel had found his usually benign team-mate scary, how must that team-mate have felt in the power of people who weren't his close friends? It didn't bear thinking about too deeply, yet he felt he had to for Daniel's sake.
"Go on, I'm listening," he encouraged as Daniel had lapsed into silence again.
"Well then the two of us were taken to what was alternatively called the 'throne room' and the 'play room'. It was a big airy room - creamy marble-clad walls - mirrors, lots of mirrors - a high ceiling - lots of cushions on the floor... There were There were... hooks in the ceiling, and... and ropes and pulleys and harnesses and - and other stuff..." Daniel paused. "And in one corner on a daïs, there was a big carved marble chair - a bit like Chronos's throne. 'The Master' was sitting there, waiting for us - like Shelob for Frodo and Sam. He was about as fat too - really gross."
Jack could hear the loathing in Daniel's voice, could see the obese Yemeni slave owner through Daniel's eyes, and just wished he could get his hands round his throat. It then occurred to him that in the nature of things, he was probably dead already. He hoped so, and that he was in a particularly hot and pointy bit of hell. And even that would probably be more comfortable than he deserved.
"We were presented to the Master for inspection. He came down off his throne and examined us like you'd go over a new stallion - checking our teeth - feeling us all over."
Daniel shivered slightly and Jack chafed his arms like he used to do with Charlie when he'd been swimming and felt cold afterwards.
"Then he went back to his throne and announced that the other boy was to be called Hamal, which means 'lamb', and me, I was to be called - to be called..." Daniel laughed, "Lawrence, b-because of my eyes. And then he told me to fuck Hamal, right there in front of him..."
And Jack realized that the laughter had turned straight into tears.
"So - so I told him to go and fuck himself..."
"Oh, that's m'boy! Mouthing off even then," Jack murmured fondly.
"He said, 'Lawrence has spirit - but don't break it just yet,' then he signaled to Kadar, who bent Hamal over at the waist. The Master left his throne again and pulled his dick out - it was massive - not over long, but thick - and he... and he... "
Daniel twisted round and burrowed his head into Jack's neck sobbing.
"Ohgodohgod! There was blood everywhere... a-a-and all I could do was watch!"
Jack let him cry himself out, carefully massaging his back, then he said gently,
"You don't have to go on with this if you don't want to."
"No, no. I want to - I must," Daniel responded urgently. "If I don't, it'll just carry on fermenting inside till god knows what I'll end up doing... I thought I'd got all these memories buried away - kept knocking them down whenever they surfaced, but then."
"Then I came along and raked them all up again."
Daylight was beginning to filter through the chink between the living room curtains as Daniel neared the end his halting catalogue of two months of cruelty and depravity. He was shivering constantly now. Although the room temperature had dropped in the early hours, and they were only wearing light robes, Jack thought there was more to it.
"I think, if we're not careful, you're going to go into shock, Daniel," he interrupted. "Come on, I'll put some water in that big bath of yours and then we'll get you warmed through."
"'m fine, Jack. 'm not injured - just a little cold, that's all."
"You can get psycho... psychogenial... fuck! Psychosomething shock."
"Better stay 'way from the shower then..."
"Yes, very funny, Daniel. Now come on."
He helped Daniel to his feet and half led, half carried him into the bathroom. As he turned the taps on, he noticed that he was looking pasty-faced, and raided the airing cupboard for some warm towels to wrap round him while the bath filled.
When it was nearly full, and not too hot, he assisted Daniel into the bath, then, as an afterthought, slipped off his own robe and climbed in after him. There was nothing sexual in it. He just wanted to keep Daniel safe. He pulled him back to lean against him as he had on the couch, and draped his arms across his chest for added warmth.
Daniel soon began to feel more comfortable.
"Mm, this is nice," he said contentedly. "Why did we never do this before?"
Jack was somewhat nonplused by the remark and wondered if Daniel had lost track of reality somewhere along the way.
"Well, could be because"
"We're not lovers?"
Jack was silenced for a long moment.
"Y we-ell, that... could be one reason."
Daniel took hold of one of his hands and moved it a little way south. For the second time that weekend, Jack had his hand on Daniel's dick. Slowly, it swelled within his grasp. Daniel gave a sigh that sounded somehow relieved.
"Just checking it was still functioning after all that, " he muttered.
Although he couldn't see it, Jack could swear that Daniel had that cheeky smile plastered across his face.
"Yeah, well - it is," Jack confirmed.
"Soooo, we're good, then?"
"I think it's time we got out before you start getting cold again," Jack said, before he did anything stupid, "then you'd better finish your tale."
He could sense Daniel pouting.
"Ohhh kay..." Daniel agreed reluctantly, "then we can have"
"Breakfast. I'm starving, ya little bastard."
Jack had found fresh sweats for the pair of them before heading for the kitchen. Warm and dry and back in the living room once more, Daniel felt calm and relaxed. He'd almost dozed off by the time Jack returned with another pot of coffee and sat down beside him.
"So, how did you escape?" he asked once Daniel was outside of a couple of mugfuls of the stimulating liquid, and wide awake once more.
There was a very long pause. Jack wondered if there were any more U.X.B.s about to explode from Daniel's buried memories.
"I I," he began slowly, staring fixedly at the Turkish rug beneath his feet, then paused a while longer, "I... I... I."
Somehow, Jack managed to keep the lid on his impatience. At last, Daniel came out with a simple, bald statement.
"I killed him."