Jack sat at the briefing table across from Daniel wondering when ...why he had lost the ability to read the man. At one time they'd always known what the other one was feeling, almost what they were thinking; god they could finish each other's sentences! Somehow, since their relationship had progressed and they had become lovers, instead of increasing that connection it had slowly eroded. Just now he wished he could read his lover's mind, for Daniel no longer seemed to want to talk to him. Not really talk that was, which for a linguist had to be frustrating. Sure was frustrating for Jack.
Jack was afraid that Daniel believed he'd made a mistake when he had finally admitted his feelings for him; that he no longer wished to be in a relationship. It wasn't how Jack felt, not at all, yet he accepted they could no longer carry on as they were. Each day became more difficult. They argued at work, were bitter and angry with each other at home. Love making had changed into having sex for the sake of it, which satisfied neither man. They both found it difficult to understand what was going on. It was particularly odd to Jack that he, the consummate non-talker was pressing the linguist to communicate.
Jack had finally decided that even though it would break his heart, he had to have it out with Daniel and if, as he now suspected, the younger man wanted to end the relationship then wouldn't a clean break be better?
God, would that mean that they wouldn't be able to work together, that one of them would have to leave the team? Could he bear that? Allowing Daniel to go through the Gate with someone else? --The answer to that was no but the choice would not be his. How could he stop it happening if Daniel wanted a transfer? Could he in all conscience, still lead a team with his ex-lover on it? He had to bite back the harsh laugh of irony; he had led a team with his lover on it for months!
His thoughts were interrupted as Hammond called the meeting to a close and the general soon left, Sam and Teal'c close behind him. Jack still sat at the table watching as Daniel gathered his papers together. The younger man never lifted his eyes from the table top.
Finally as Daniel moved to leave the room Jack got to his feet and put out a hand to stop him as he passed by. “Coming round tonight?” he asked calmly.
“Err, I’d like to but I’ve got too much on," Daniel replied as he looked past Jack's shoulder.
“For crying out loud, Daniel, you can come round for an hour or so, or I could come to your place if that’s easier.” Moving a step closer, Jack added sincerely, “We need to talk Danny. We can't go on like this any longer.”
Daniel's eyes met his for the first time and Jack saw the hurt and confusion before he quickly dropped them. “Okay, Jack. I’ll cut it short, be at your place about nine.”
Jack sighed, “Okay, I’ll have supper waiting.”
Daniel nodded, seeming unwilling to say anything else and hurried away to his office.
Jack watched him go sensing his friend’s unease. Perhaps it was too soon for Daniel, maybe he wasn't ready to be honest with him but Jack really couldn’t go on like this. He needed to know, even if it hurt.
Jack spent the afternoon attempting to do his paperwork but he was unable to concentrate. The more he thought about the evening to come, the more nervous he got. Let’s be honest here, I’m afraid of what might happen. What he might say.
Jack was relieved when the clock finally hit seventeen hundred hours and he could leave without any questions asked. He had to make himself take the elevator up to the surface and not visit Daniel’s lab first.
Jack paced his living room unable to sit still while he waited for Daniel. He’d tried to read, tried to watch television but all he could do was think about Daniel and it was driving him insane. He loved him and didn’t want to lose what he had with the younger man but he couldn’t force it if Daniel wanted to finish it.
He'd set the table in the dining room, nothing too fancy, just two place settings, a wine glass for Daniel and a beer glass for himself.
He went into the kitchen to check on the casserole, it should be ready for nine and he hoped Daniel was on time. He laughed at himself, on time to say goodbye? Why was he so sure that Daniel wanted to end it? Because it was what he was most afraid of? Because he'd never understood what someone like Daniel saw in him anyway?
He thought again about their constant arguing and he knew without doubt that things had deteriorated after they became lovers. He knew he'd tried particularly hard not to let that interfere with his command of the team, making sure he didn't allow Daniel any special favouritism. He considered the possibility that perhaps he'd gone too far but he was sure he had only taken Daniel to task when he had good cause. The archaeologist had always been argumentative, it was who he was. Could Jack have given him justification? He'd never been one to second guess himself; he was used to making decisions on the spur of the moment; that was just the nature of the job.
He reached up and opened one of the cupboards and he took out a bottle of whisky and a glass. He stared at the bottle, their whisky. There was about half left and he would just have one glass to steady his nerves. He lifted the container and automatically began to make their usual toast but he stopped before he uttered the words and instead made a silent promise to himself that if Daniel did end their relationship he would finish the bottle and never buy Jack Daniel's again.
Hearing a key turning in the lock of his front door, Jack took a deep breath before he turned to face it. Daniel was standing there and he looked nervous yet determined.
A few hours later Jack threw the untouched meal and the Jack Daniel's in the trash.
|Genres:||Angst, Established Relationship, Vignette|
|Summary:||Jack can't understand what is wrong and decides it's time to talk to Daniel. Is it already too late?
Author's Chapter Notes:
Thanks to my Beta, Gateroller!