Memories and Consequences
Sergeant Walter Harriman sat up straight as he felt the presence of his commanding officer. He smiled to himself. Any time now and the Stargate would come to life.
"Incoming traveller!" he announced as the first chevron engaged. "It's SG-1, sir," Walter confirmed.
"And right on time," General George Hammond remarked happily. "Open the iris."
George hurried to the gate room. He felt it was his sworn duty to always try to be present whenever a team returned through the Stargate. If he couldn't go with them, then by God, he'd be there to greet their return.
"Welcome back, SG—" George's words caught in his throat.
"Thank you, General," Colonel Jack O'Neill replied, striding down the ramp with Daniel, Sam, and Teal'c trailing behind. "Permission to head to the showers before the infirmary, sir."
George took in the dirty, dishevelled, and odorous spectacle before him.
"Permission granted, Colonel. In fact, I insist," he added, his eyes watering as Jack brushed grime off his jacket, sending a waft of rank air towards him.
"Let's go, kids!" Jack said, leading his subdued team to the exit doors.
"God, Jack, don't move so fast," Daniel groaned, waving his hand in front of his face. "My own stench is bad enough."
"Refresh my memory, Major Carter. Who was it that said, 'Jack, I 'm sure this is the way?'"
"Daniel, sir," Sam replied, looking at said team-mate.
"I got us out, didn't I?" Daniel replied defensively.
"One word, Daniel: sew-er," Jack said, drawing the word out.
Jack looked at the general. "Sir?"
"Showers, now, and use lots of soap!" George ordered.
"Right," Jack smiled. "Sorry, on our way."
George sighed with relief as SG-1 vacated the gate room.
"General Hammond, sir?"
George glanced up to see Walter on the phone.
"Would you like me to get something to spray down there?"
"Yes, thank you, son, and hurry," George replied, wiping his eyes.
"Come on, Daniel, you're going to use up all the water on base!" Jack called out as he put on a clean jacket and sniffed it appreciatively.
"Just a few more minutes!" Daniel replied. "Don't wait for me. I'll see you in the infirmary!"
"I'll be sure to tell Doc to have the Botox ready," Jack muttered.
"Daniel Jackson appears to have acquired a fondness for long showers," Teal'c observed.
"Hmm?" Jack said absently, fiddling with a button.
"Daniel Jackson stays in the shower longer than anyone I know," Teal'c clarified. "This did not use to be the case. It has been many weeks since I have seen him naked."
"Jesus, Teal'c, that sounds so … wrong," Jack frowned.
"Nevertheless, it is true, O'Neill. When was the last time you saw Daniel Jackson nude?"
Jack stared at Teal'c and then glanced toward the shower. He frowned. Teal'c was right. He hadn't seen Daniel naked for awhile, and he was staying in the shower much longer than usual.
"Now that you mention it," Jack murmured, "he's been a little jumpy since that island paradise P7-whatever. Do you think he's hiding something? An injury?"
"P7G 512, and Daniel Jackson could not hide an injury from Doctor Frasier, O'Neill."
"No, no, he couldn't. Still …" Jack said thoughtfully. If Daniel was hiding something, he was bound and determined to find out what. "Maybe he got a tattoo," he whispered.
Teal'c raised an eyebrow.
"Think about it," Jack said. "It fits. We had five days off after that mission. He went to Vancouver to some conference, remember? He got a tattoo and now he's embarrassed about it so he gets Fraiser to promise not to say anything."
Teal'c considered the scenario. "I believe Daniel Jackson could convince Doctor Fraiser to remain silent, but what of the nurses, O'Neill?"
"You kidding me? One of Doc's staff defy her? That's an instant one-way ticket out of Cheyenne Mountain," Jack replied.
"Indeed," Teal'c thrummed softly. "The water has stopped, O'Neill."
"Shh," Jack whispered.
Daniel turned off the shower. He didn't know how long he could keep doing this without arousing suspicion. True, he had more dirt than normal to wash off, but even so, he stayed several minutes longer than necessary. He cocked his head and listened for any sound from the locker room Silence. Breathing a sigh of relief, he grabbed his towel and roughly dried his face and hair. He wrapped the towel around his waist and stepped out into the cool air. Shivering, he exchanged the towel for his robe and tied it as he entered the locker room. He stopped dead and stared wide-eyed at Jack and Teal'c.
"Where is it?" Jack asked.
"Don't be coy. Come on, let's see it, and let me just say, I'm very hurt, Daniel," Jack said.
"What?" Daniel said in confusion.
"I do not believe you are correct, O'Neill," Teal'c stated.
"Correct about what?" Daniel asked, looking at Teal'c for clarification.
"Teal'c says he hasn't seen you naked for awhile and neither have I," Jack explained.
Daniel's face turned scarlet and he backed up. "You-you want to see me naked?"
"No, for crying out loud, we want to see it," Jack said.
"It?" Daniel said incredulously, glancing down at his groin.
"The tattoo, Daniel," Jack sighed.
"What?" Daniel frowned, glancing up.
"Colonel O'Neill believes you obtained a tattoo while in Vancouver and that you are concealing it from us, and that is why you are spending inordinate amounts of time in the shower, Daniel Jackson."
"I don't have a tattoo," Daniel said adamantly. "I just happen to enjoy showers. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get dressed."
"We are sorry for the intrusion, Daniel Jackson. We will leave now," Teal'c said, bowing his head.
"Nah, I'll wait for you," Jack said, smiling and sitting down.
Daniel stared in disbelief then shook his head.
"Fine," he snapped, untying his robe and dropping it to the floor. "See any tattoos?" he asked, holding out his arms and turning a 360.
It was Jack's turn to blush as the whole scene now seemed a bit perverted. He turned to Teal'c and muttered, "Told you so. Let's get out of here before Doc sends out the SF's to search for us."
Teal'c bowed his head once again towards Daniel and then followed Jack out the door.
Daniel snatched up his robe and shrugged into it, feeling an unsettling mixture of exhilaration, outrage, shame, and despair.
"There was no tattoo, O'Neill," Teal'c said sombrely.
Jack winced and glanced sideways at Teal'c. "So I noticed."
"Daniel Jackson is very pleasing to the eye."
"For crying out loud, Teal'c," Jack hissed.
"You disagree, O'Neill?"
"Yes! No! I mean … it's not something guys talk about," Jack said, flustered.
"We are," Teal'c said simply.
"No, we are not," Jack insisted.
"The male body makes you uncomfortable," Teal'c said.
Jack sighed and quickened his pace. The infirmary never seemed so far away.
Teal'c's eyebrow arched and he smiled faintly.
"I will speak no more of it, O'Neill."
"Thank you," Jack said in a clipped, even tone.
"Unless you should so desire," Teal'c added.
Jack glared at Teal'c in exasperation and picked up his pace.
Jack stood outside Daniel's office door … again. This was his third attempt to approach Daniel in as many hours. He didn't know if he had humiliated his friend, but he sure as hell humiliated himself and he wasn't going to get any work done until he apologized. He took a deep breath, knocked twice then opened the door.
Daniel glanced up at the knock, his expression wary.
"Hey," Jack said lightly.
"I, uh …" Jack coughed and cleared his throat. "I just wanted to apologize for the, um, you know."
Daniel blinked slowly.
"The locker room incident," Jack forced out, wincing.
Daniel nodded. "Apology accepted."
"Good. Good," Jack said, shoving his hands into his pockets. "So, uh, you want to come over for burgers tonight?"
"No … thank you," Daniel replied.
"Oh, uh, sure," Jack said, hurt, but not surprised by the rejection.
"I have a lot to do," Daniel explained, gesturing to his crowded desk and feeling a bit guilty.
"Another time then?" Jack offered.
"Another time," Daniel nodded.
"Tomorrow?" Jack suggested.
"Uh, no," Daniel replied, gesturing to his desk again.
"Right. Work. Lots and lots of work," Jack murmured.
Daniel smiled and shrugged.
"Well, I guess I'll go and do some work, too," Jack said. "See you around."
Daniel watched Jack leave and close the door. He felt at loose ends, and his body ached; ached for Jack. If only he didn't remember. He sighed and rubbed his eyes. The mission to P7G 512 had started out so well.
Earlier on P7G 512
Jack looked up and waved at his team-mate high up the tree.
"Teal'c! What do you see?"
"It is as Daniel Jackson suspected, O'Neill. We are on an island," Teal'c replied, his rich timbre easily heard.
"It feels like an island. What can I say?" Daniel shrugged as Jack looked askance at him
"Why build a Stargate on an island?" Jack asked.
"Maybe it wasn't an island at the time," Daniel said reasonably. "The gate system is thousands of years old. Look how much Earth has changed. Huge land masses have appeared and disappeared."
"Yeah, maybe," Jack murmured, looking at the surroundings.
"Then again, sir, it may have been a resort destination for the Ancients," Sam grinned, relishing the warmth of the sun.
"Very funny, Carter. Well, whatever the reason, it shouldn't take long to check out. Once Teal'c gets down and gives us the lay of the land, we'll see what this puppy has to offer."
"Don't pout," Jack said.
"I'm not pouting," Daniel retorted. "I just don't know why we're heading to the coast when Teal'c clearly saw some ruins in the middle of the island."
"It makes perfect sense. We go west then north up the coast, Carter and Teal'c go east then north up the coast, we meet up and come down through the centre of the island to the ruins,." Jack explained patiently.
"Why didn't we all go north through the centre of the island, check the ruins, continue north, then split off to the coasts and meet up down south back at the Stargate?" Daniel countered.
"Well, that's just stupid," Jack said.
"Besides the obvious of trying to drag you way from the ruins?" Jack queried.
"Yes," Daniel huffed.
"Because I'd be carrying this fishing pole for nothing," Jack smiled, tapping Daniel on the head with his makeshift rod.
"I bet Sam and Teal'c aren't looking for fish," Daniel muttered.
"You're cute when you pout," Jack grinned.
"I wasn't going for cute," Daniel murmured, smiling in spite of himself.
"Come on, I hear the call of the fish," Jack said, striding off at a quick pace.
Daniel shook his head, but dutifully followed in Jack's wake.
"Carter might be right about this being a resort destination," Jack said, gazing appreciatively at the azure water with its gentle surf.
"It is beautiful," Daniel murmured, reaching down to pick up a handful of warm, white sand.
"Tide's coming in," Jack observed.
"Sorry I broke your fishing rod," Daniel said quietly, watching the sand trickle though his fingers.
Jack looked at Daniel and smiled. "Forget it. I'm more of a freshwater fisherman anyways."
Daniel smiled and walked out to the water's edge. He knelt down and dipped his fingers into the water.
"No time for skinny-dipping, Daniel," Jack said, crouching beside him.
"However, a face plant into the water is not out of the question," Jack warned, his hand pressing ominously on Daniel's back.
Daniel grinned and stood up. "I wonder if Sam and Teal'c have reached their coast."
"Let's find out," Jack said, grasping his radio. "Carter, Teal'c, you copy?"
"Copy, sir," Sam replied.
"What do you see, Carter?"
"If I didn't know better, sir, I'd say the Caribbean," Sam relayed.
"Same here," Jack said smiling. "Enjoy, kids. O'Neill out."
"Enjoy kids? Jack, you practically ordered them to go swimming," Daniel said.
"You're pouting again," Jack said.
Daniel opened his mouth to protest, but closed it, deciding to quit before Jack reeled him in further.
Jack smiled and the two men stood side by side for several minutes, enjoying the warm sun, gentle breeze, and the acrobatic antics of the sea birds.
Daniel moaned and sat up. He didn't want to think about what happened afterwards. Remembering only brought heartache and misery, but that was his dilemma: he couldn't forget. Whether Jack was in his vicinity or not, the deep ache and longing for Jack never eased. Jack was his best friend, but Daniel knew he could be more; so much more.
"I can't do this anymore," Daniel hissed between clenched teeth. "Forgive me, Jack," he whispered, reaching for paper and pen.
"General Hammond, am I disturbing you?"
"Doctor Jackson, please come in."
George was always surprised, pleased, and just a little bit wary when Daniel showed up unannounced.
"Thank you, sir," Daniel said, stepping inside and closing the door.
George noticed the file clutched in Daniel's hand and his wariness ramped up a notch.
"Take a seat. What can I do for you, son?"
"It's about P7G 512," Daniel said, sitting down.
"Yes?" George queried, pulling the planet's designation and particulars out of the catalogue in his brain.
"I request permission to return to the planet for a, uh, personal matter. I also recommend it be locked out of the computer's dialling system."
George frowned. "SG-1's reports classified P7G 512 as a beautiful and benign location. In face, a 'perfect vacation retreat' were Colonel O'Neill's exact words, if I'm not mistaken."
"Yes, sir, that is how Jack remembers things," Daniel said.
"Doctor Jackson, what are you trying to say?" George asked, his wariness jumping up several notches.
Daniel exhaled a deep breath. "My report was incomplete, sir."
"How incomplete, Doctor?"
Daniel placed the file he held onto the desk. He slid it towards the general, but kept his hand on it.
"While you read this, please keep in mind Jack remembers nothing of … certain events. Major Carter and Teal'c never did," Daniel explained cryptically.
George studied the young man in front of him and didn't like what he saw at all.
"Doctor Jackson, would you prefer I read this in private?"
Daniel visibly relaxed and nodded. "I'd appreciate that very much, sir," he replied, relinquishing the file.
George pulled the file towards him. He looked up at Daniel and said, "No doubt we will talk further."
"No doubt," Daniel replied quietly.
"Very well. You may go, Doctor Jackson."
"Thank you, sir." Daniel stood and hesitated. "There is one more thing, General. If you are unable to grant my request, my resignation is attached."
It wasn't a threat, but a promise and George felt ill and Daniel left before he could even come up with anything to say. Sighing, he opened the file to see several pages in a familiar neat script.
"No electronic trace, son?" he murmured thoughtfully.
Daniel hurried from the general's office, feeling relieved, but sick to his stomach. He didn't know what the general was going to think or do, or what he could do. Jack, on the other hand, would be furious. He just hoped, in time, Jack could forgive him. Right now, Daniel needed a release. On impulse, he went to the gym and found it blessedly empty. He quickly changed his gear and hit the weights. If he could physically exhaust himself he could escape from his memories for awhile. He pumped until every muscle warned him to stop. His muscle quivered like jelly as he bench-pressed for the umpteenth time. He grimaced and pushed, grunting as muscles screamed their objection. Suddenly, the weight was gone and his eyes snapped open.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Daniel lay on the bench; his breath laboured, his clothes sweat-soaked, and stared up at the dark eyes of a worried and pissed-off Jack O'Neill.
"Christ, Daniel, if you want to kill yourself, there are easier ways," Jack snapped, returning the barbell to its resting position. "Care to explain?"
Daniel drew in a ragged breath which caused him to choke on his own saliva. He coughed and rolled onto his side, falling to the floor with a dull thud, lungs heaving.
Jack dropped to his knees and pounded Daniel on the back. It did the trick and Daniel sucked in much needed oxygen.
"What the hell's going on with you?" Jack asked quietly, rubbing Daniel's back.
Daniel shook his head and gave a mirthless laugh. "You don't want to know," he rasped. The feel of Jack's hand on his back electrified his nerve endings, casting him back to P7G 512.
"I can't get enough of you," Jack whispered, rubbing and kissing Daniel's sweat-sheened back while pressing his swollen cock against Daniel's anus.
"Do it," Daniel said huskily, arching back into Jack and impaling himself.
Jack moaned and pushed.
Daniel gasped. No one had the right to feel this good, to smell this good, to make him feel this alive. He moaned as Jack filled him and cried out with pleasure at the first, slow thrust.
"Daniel, you're scaring me," Jack said, scooting around to look at his friend. His brow creased with worry at the glazed look in the usually vibrant eyes. He gave Daniel a firm shake and the eyes cleared.
"I'm sorry," Daniel murmured, looking away from Jack.
"For what?" Jack frowned.
Daniel merely shook his head then tried to stand up, but Jack tightened his grip.
"Not so fast. You over-exerted yourself. Take it slow," he cautioned as he helped Daniel back onto the bench. "Sit for awhile and keep your head down. I'll get you some water."
Daniel used the brief respite from Jack to pull himself together. Trying to physically exhaust himself turned out to be not such a good idea after all. It was stupid, really, and another bad decision. Another one to add to his growing list.
Daniel felt a towel drape around his shoulders and a bottle of water waggled in front of his face. Silently, he sat up, took the proffered refreshment and drank half the contents.
Jack sat down next to him and his eyes narrowed as Daniel flinched.
"Talk to me."
Daniel closed his eyes, forcing the tears back. Jack's voice: so soft, gentle, and caring was shattering his resolve.
"Daniel," Jack pressed, his voice a mere whisper.
Daniel took in a shuddering breath and looked at Jack with red-rimmed eyes. Jack's own eyes were filled with warmth, concern, and even fear, and Daniel wondered what he'd see in those dark eyes if he told Jack everything.
"Whatever it is, we'll get through it," Jack promised.
Images of a dark store-room flashed in Daniel's mind. He swallowed hard. Could telling Jack what really happened on P7G be worse then pointing a gun at him?
"I can't," Daniel whispered. "Not here."
"Anywhere. You name it," Jack said.
"I-I need to shower and get some sleep," Daniel said evasively.
"Okay," Jack said, wanting to give his distraught friend some time and space, but he also didn't want to lose any ground he just gained. He checked his watch. "How about I drop by your place tonight, say around seven"
"I don't know. I–"
"I'll bring pizza."
"Sure," Daniel nodded in defeat, realizing if he didn't tell him, Jack would hear it from General Hammond, and that would make things so much worse.
"Good," Jack said, standing up. "I'll see you later then and no more weight-lifting."
"No worries there," Daniel murmured.
Daniel remained sitting on the bench long after Jack had left, slowly drinking the water and wondering whether Jack would still be talking to him tomorrow.
"You've only eaten two pieces."
Daniel glanced up into Jack's accusing eyes and shrugged.
"Guess I'm not really that hungry," he said, sipping his beer.
Jack reached for another piece and said, "Maybe you'd feel like eating if you told me what's been bothering you."
"Oh, I doubt that," Daniel laughed weakly.
Jack put his pizza down and leaned forward.
"I'm not a mind-reader, Daniel, and I don't have limitless patience, so will you please tell me what's got my best friend all in knots?"
"Can I have that in writing?" Daniel asked quietly, unconsciously hugging himself.
"This is what I'm talking about," Jack frowned indicating Daniel's defensive posture. "You've been acting squirrelly ever since we came back from that island planet."
Daniel tensed even more and looked at Jack. "Squirrelly?"
"Yeah, and I get the impression it's got something to do with me."
Daniel looked away and Jack sat back with a sigh.
"Nailed that one, didn't I?"
Daniel closed his eyes, took two deep breaths, and then looked at Jack.
"What do you remember?"
"About that planet?"
"You read my report," Jack shrugged. "Great weather, fantastic scenery, and some nice vine-covered ruins which we didn't get to see. You and I did one side of the island, Carter and Teal'c did the other. We were supposed to meet at the top and go to the ruins together, but they couldn't even get to the top of the island or across to the ruins because of some honkin' chasm. We made it to the tip of the island, but ran into the same problem when we neared the ruins. We called it a day and headed back to the Stargate."
"As I recall, your report was pretty much the same," Jack said.
"My report was a joke," Daniel stated.
"A joke?" Jack queried, raising an eyebrow. "What does that mean?"
"It means it was incomplete. I left … things out."
"What things? I was with you the whole time," Jack frowned.
"The part about Sam and Teal'c is correct, but you weren't with me the whole time. We split up and met at the ruins," Daniel said.
"What? I don't remember any of that," Jack scowled.
"You weren't supposed to and neither was I," Daniel said.
"Squirrelly," Jack warned, rotating his finger in the air.
Daniel sighed and clenched his hands together. "Something …something happened to us while we were on the planet."
"You mean we were compromised?" Jack frowned.
"No, not exactly," Daniel hedged.
"Then what exactly and why do you remember and I don't, and what in God's name could be so bad you felt you had to falsify a report? Did we kill someone?"
"Destroy some sacred thingy?"
"Then what?" Jack demanded.
"We had sex," Daniel said, looking down at his hands.
"Sex?" Jack repeated incredulously. "With who? Crap, with what?"
Daniel looked at Jack. "With each other."
Jack stared speechless and Daniel averted his gaze.
"You mean, you and me?" Jack asked quietly.
"Yes," Daniel replied, not looking up.
Jack was flummoxed. Sex with Daniel was something he had thought about for a number of years, but he also knew there was as much chance of that happening as there was of him ascending. Some things just weren't meant to be, no matter how enticing. Instinctively, Jack knew Daniel was telling the truth, but he was at a loss as to what to say. Daniel was obviously upset about what happened, or rather, about how Jack was going to react. Maybe he could ease his friend's anxiety.
"You'd think I'd remember something like that," Jack murmured.
"What?" Daniel said as he looked up in surprise.
"Well, it's not like I've had a lot of sex these past years. I finally get some and I don't even remember. I'm just saying," Jack said with a shrug. "And it does explain some things," he added ruefully. "I was feeling sore in places I shouldn't have felt sore, if you know what I mean."
"Uh, yeah. Me, too," Daniel agreed, blushing.
"So, you and me?" Jack confirmed.
"You and me."
"You're not mad?" Daniel asked.
"Should I be? Was I forced into it?"
"Well, no. It just kind of happened," Daniel said.
"Could you have prevented it?"
"I, uh, I don't know. Maybe. Maybe if I'd been stronger," Daniel admitted.
"Stronger? You mean, as in fight me off? Crap, I didn't rape you, did I?" Jack asked horrified.
"No, no, no. God, no," Daniel said quickly.
Jack visibly relaxed then waved his hand. "Maybe you should start telling me what actually happened."
"Okay, but you might want something a little stronger than that," Daniel said, gesturing to Jack's beer.
"Whiskey?" Jack inquired after downing the rest of his beer.
"Yeah, and maybe I'll have one, too. I'll also make some coffee," Daniel said, taking the empty bottle with him.
Daniel poured two glasses of whiskey then started preparing the coffee. He felt immense relief Jack hadn't gone ballistic at the news he just received. Oddly, he seemed almost blasť, but Daniel didn't want to analyze Jack's behaviour too much at this point because he had another hurdle to clear. He still had to tell Jack why he remembered, but Jack didn't. If they could just talk it out, and Daniel could get back to P7G 512 then maybe, things could get back to normal.
"Whatever normal can be," Daniel murmured because even if they both forgot what happened, they would still know it did happen.
Jack silently paced the living-room, his thoughts whirling. He had sex with Daniel. Did he instigate it? Did Daniel? Could he have prevented it? Would he have if he could? Did Daniel enjoy it? Did he? Crap, if Carter and Teal'c had gone to that place, would they have all had sex with each other? Why the hell does Daniel remember and he doesn't? He thought back to the weeks since P7G and winced. How many times had he asked Daniel over for dinner or chess? More than usual because Daniel turned him down every time, for some reason or other, and now the reason was obvious: Daniel had been afraid of what he'd do if he found out. Jack thought of the locker scene and sat down with a weary thud.
Daniel came back into the room with the drinks and stopped at the sight of Jack bent over, hands clasped behind his head.
Jack jerked and sat up.
"Thanks," he said, holding his hand out for the glass of whiskey. "I, uh, was just thinking about what an ass I was in the locker room. Sorry."
"It's okay, you didn't know," Daniel said.
"Yeah, now why is that and why did we, you know, in the first place?" Jack frowned.
Daniel sat down and sighed. "I guess I should start at the beginning."
"To beginnings," Jack smiled, holding up his glass.
"To beginnings," Daniel echoed clinking his glass against Jack's.
Daniel took a tentative sip then placed his glass on the table.
"Do you remember Sam saying the island may have been a resort destination?"
"I remember," Jack nodded.
"Well, I think that's what it was; what it is. An adult destination," Daniel amended, colouring slightly.
"A Fantasy Island type of thing?" Jack queried.
"Da plane, Boss, da plane," Jack said in a funny voice. "Never mind," he said, waving his hand. "Carry on."
"Okay. Well, using your analogy, it seems to serve as a place for lovers, or would-be lovers. A place to act out sexual fantasies," Daniel explained.
"Okay, maybe those aren't the right words," Daniel frowned, "but I had the opportunity to do some reading while I waited for you to come, and—"
"While you waited? You were reading while we were having sex?" Jack cried in disbelief.
"What? No, no, no," Daniel said putting his drink down before he spilled it. "I was waiting for you to meet me at the ruins."
"Oh," Jack said, somewhat mollified then he frowned. "You said earlier we split up. Why was that?"
"Well, it seemed the further away from the Stargate we got, the more … emotional we felt," Daniel explained. "It was … nice, but you were getting uncomfortable so I, um, snuck off and went inland to the ruins. I thought if we put some distance between us we'd feel more normal."
"Seeing as I remember squat, did it work?" Jack asked.
"It did, so I thought you'd remember us being separated, but I guess it was all kind of connected together, Daniel mused. "Anyway, once you realized I was gone, you did contact me," Daniel said.
"Did I give you shit?"
"A little, but once I explained, you agreed with my motive."
"And Carter and Teal'c weren't affected by any of this?" Jack asked, trying not to think how distracted he must have been for Daniel to sneak away.
"No, and I'm assuming Tealc's symbiote had something to do with it. I don't think Jaffa and Goa'uld were meant to participate," Daniel replied. "As for Sam, it could have been Jolinar's marker or the fact she was the only female."
"What, you're saying it's a guy resort?" Jack queried.
"Ah, no. From what I saw, it's more of a gay resort," Daniel clarified.
"For crying out loud, what did you see?"
"The ruins, which weren't really ruins, but then you wouldn't remember that, had several walls with, um, very graphic murals," Daniel said, his neck flushing.
"No guy/girl stuff?" Jack asked.
"None," Daniel said, shaking his head.
Jack sipped his drink as he tried to digest the information of him and Daniel at a gay resort. The whole thing was just too incredible.
"Any idea who built the damn thing?" Jack asked.
"Some of the earliest writing was in Ancient," Daniel said.
"The Ancients are gay?" Jack asked incredulously.
"I'm sure some were, but it wasn't just the Ancients who went there. Various humanoid races and languages were depicted in the pictures and writings," Daniel replied.
"There were porn books, too?" Jack asked.
"Historical archive," Daniel corrected.
"Semantics," Jack grunted.
"Yes, well, from what I could gather from the records and our … experience, something, whether it's the morphology of the island itself or some chemical influence, removes inhibitions of the guests thus allowing their stay to be more, um pleasurable," Daniel concluded.
"But clearly not memorable," Jack commented with a quirked eyebrow.
Daniel pursed his lips. "Yeah, about that. I'm just going to get some coffee first."
"I'll have some, too," Jack said, sitting back, nursing his whiskey. He had a lot of thinking to do and he needed a clear head. He wasn't disturbed by the fact he had sex with Daniel, but the not remembering was annoying as hell.
Daniel, still a bit shell-shocked, poured the coffee slowly so as not to spill any. He never dreamt Jack would take the news they had sex together so calmly. Once again, he'd underestimated his friend. He just hoped General Hammond was as understanding.
George placed the last sheet of paper into the shredder. The contents of the papers were firmly embedded in his mind. He'd read the report three times: the first time for the facts; the second time to hear Daniel Jackson, and the third time to understand Daniel Jackson.
"You never cease to amaze me, son," he murmured.
George Hammond was a firm believer in 'don't ask, don't tell', if only for the fact, ignorance was bliss. Anything more and good people got hurt and right now one of his people was hurting and that was intolerable. Daniel Jackson rarely asked for anything, but he was asking now and George was bound and determined to help him.
Jack gulped down the last of his second cup of coffee and carefully placed the mug on the table. He rubbed his eyes wearily then looked at Daniel.
"Okay, let's see if I've got this right. We gated to P7G 512 and split into pairs to cover the whole island. Carter and Teal'c could only do their side of the island so the collected soil and plant samples and basically enjoyed themselves. You and I, however, got some weird sexual vibe thing going, split up, met up at the ruins that weren't really ruined, and were welcomed by a hologram that sent us on our merry way into sexual la-la land."
"That's basically how it went down, um, happened," Daniel said, smiling nervously.
"Right, and when we finished doing what we were doing, we drank this stuff that was supposed to erase memories of anything sexual or erotic," Jack continued. "There were two vials, one of which had a crack and the contents had evaporated."
"We looked for more vials, but they were the only ones," Daniel added.
"We argued over who would drink the stuff and you, apparently, convinced me I should drink it because I'm military and therefore, it was more important I not remember."
"Something like that," Daniel said, his voice trailing off under Jack's intense gaze.
"Bullshit, Daniel. There's no way in hell I'd let you do that. If anything, I would have thrown the stuff away and we'd deal with the aftermath together."
"Okay, I may have deceived you," Daniel said guiltily.
"You knew one vial was empty so you kept it for yourself and pretended to drink it," Jack stated.
"I thought it was the right thing to do," Daniel said defensively. "I did look for more, but I couldn't find any."
"Crap," Jack sighed and rubbed his temples. There was no point in getting angry. Daniel only tried to protect him and Jack would have done the same thing, given the chance.
"If it's any consolation, we did enjoy ourselves," Daniel said.
"I was good?" Jack asked casually, looking up.
"You were amazing," Daniel replied softly, averting his eyes.
Jack looked curiously at Daniel and then it finally hit him: Daniel didn't just remember everything, he still felt everything.
"Oh, crap, you still have those feelings, don't you?" he asked gently.
Daniel visibly tensed and he crossed his arms tight in front of his chest before he looked at Jack.
"I thought they would go away. I hoped they would go away."
"Hell, Daniel," Jack sighed. Now he really understood why Daniel had been avoiding him. He thought of his antics in the locker room and groaned inwardly.
"Sometimes it feels like I'm experiencing someone else's emotions. Other times … other times I can barely stand to be in the same room with you," Daniel said flashing a sad smile.
"It's not your fault. I took a gamble," Daniel said.
"No, that's not what I meant, although I am sorry for that, too," Jack said. "What I meant, was I'm sorry I don't remember."
Daniel looked curiously at Jack.
Jack blushed slightly and shrugged. "Hey, if what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, then I've forgotten something pretty special."
Daniel smiled and ducked his head. He glanced up at Jack over the top of his glasses.
"That's a very nice thing to say, but it's not really helping the situation, if you catch my drift."
"Um, right. Sorry," Jack said, flustered.
"There is something else I have to tell you," Daniel said, chewing his bottom lip.
"For crying out loud, Daniel, if you tell me you're pregnant, I'm gonna have a stroke right here and now."
Daniel smiled and shook his head. "Uh, no, but you should stay seated."
Jack steeled himself. What bombshell was he going to drop now?
"I re-wrote my report. I gave it to General Hammond earlier today. I told him the truth."
Ah, that bombshell.
Jack nodded, his face impassive. "What did he say?"
"I don't know. He said he'd read it in private," Daniel replied. "That's when I went to the gym and tried to forget."
"You told him everything?" Jack asked, looking a little ill.
"I told him the basics. I had to, Jack. I need to go back to P7G. There has to be more of that memory drink there," Daniel insisted.
"You said you looked."
"I have to look harder," Daniel replied.
"Does that mean going through the program again, or whatever it was?" Jack frowned.
"Maybe. I don't know. If I have to, but it won't involve you," Daniel assured. "The hologram said surrogate partners were available."
"Surrogate," Jack scowled. "You're not hooking up with any damn surrogate. They're probably as reliable as those memory flasks, but let's just pretend I agreed to it. You go back, do the deed, then drink the stuff and presto, no memory of the surrogate. The surrogate," Jack repeated with emphasis. "Do you see where I'm going with this?"
"You think I'll still have the memories of us," Daniel said.
"I won't know till I try," Daniel said. "Besides, the memories I can live with, it's the … other."
Jack wrapped his hands around his mug of coffee and stared into its inky depths.
"There is another option," he said softly.
"Drink two vials?" Daniel queried.
Jack smiled and glanced up. "No, I was thinking of something a little different."
Daniel furrowed his brow then his eyes widened. "No, I can't ask you to do that," he said, shaking his head.
"You're not asking. I'm volunteering," Jack clarified.
"Jack, I don't think you understand what you're suggesting."
"Daniel, there's only two ways to fix this: either we both forget, or we both remember, and I doubt very much the former is going to work."
"No, there has to be another way," Daniel pressed.
"And if there isn't?"
Daniel stood up and began to pace.
Jack watched in silence as his friend paced then asked, "What else have I forgotten?"
Daniel visibly stiffened and stopped.
Jack sighed and sank into his chair.
"Okay, what asinine thing did I do or say?"
Daniel turned around and thrust his hands into his pockets.
"Once the program was finished … no, that sounds too clinical," he murmured. "After we … finished, we were escorted into another room where we showered and got dressed."
"Escorted?" Jack queried.
"By the hologram," Daniel replied.
"Anyways, we started to feel like our old selves again," Daniel continued.
"Like coming down from a high," Jack offered.
"Ye-es, and things got a bit awkward, to say the least," Daniel said.
"I blamed you for getting us mixed up in the whole thing in the first place," Jack said dully.
"You remember?" Daniel asked in surprise.
"No, I just know myself," Jack said sadly.
"It was a lot to take in," Daniel said.
"Don't defend me, Daniel. I was an ass," Jack said.
"It was harder for you," Daniel insisted. "The military—"
"What did I just say?" Jack interrupted.
Daniel sighed and sat back.
"Look, I appreciate what you're trying to do," Jack said sincerely, "but the reality is I reacted badly. My only saving grace is why."
"Because you were mortified?"
Jack smiled at Daniel. "Answer me this. Whatever affected us on that planet, could it make a person do something which, under normal circumstances, they would be morally opposed to?"
Daniel stared at Jack intently then shook his head. "No."
"You said its purpose was to remove inhibitions."
"And to enhance senses, if I understood the writing correctly," Daniel added quietly.
"I have no doubt you understood correctly," Jack said. "So …"
"So?" Daniel said, his eyebrows lifting.
"So, I'm sorry. I panicked, and I'm sorry," Jack repeated.
"Okay," Daniel frowned.
"Oh, for crying out loud. You get what I'm saying, don't you?"
"Um, well, you said … so that means you … oh. Oh!" Daniel said, his eyes widening.
"Yeah, and you didn't put up a fight, am I right?" Jack asked regretting his haste to down the memory drink.
"Right," Daniel said, swallowing hard.
Jack stood up abruptly, scrubbed his hair with both hands then began to pace.
"Crap, I'm no good at this stuff."
"Jack, you don't –"
""N'uh," Jack said, holding up a warning finger. "Just … just give me a minute."
Daniel waited in nervous silence as Jack paced back and forth. It was agonizing to watch, but it also gave Daniel a few moments to prepare himself for what he suspected and hoped Jack was going to say. He'd been so wrapped up in avoiding Jack and the sexual urges his presence aroused, he'd failed to grasp the fact he really did have feelings for his friend. And so, apparently, did Jack have feelings for him. He desperately wanted to make things easier for Jack, but at the same time he wanted and needed to hear an admission from him. His stomach was in free-fall and he was glad he only ate two pieces of pizza.
Jack knew he was stalling, but damn it, it was hard. He was a private man; very private, and just the thought of baring his soul gave him the heebie-jeeebies. As abruptly as he stood up, Jack sat down and leaned forward, head down, elbows on knees. He just had to spit it out and see where the wind blew. He looked up and met Daniel's eyes.
"When we met, which seems like a lifetime ago, I was at the lowest point of my life. I didn't want to live and I was looking for a way out. You opened the Stargate and gave me the ticket out. I was going to go out in a blaze of glory, defending my country and planet, and I wouldn't have to think about Charlie or Sara anymore."
"Just listen, Daniel. Okay?"
Daniel nodded and tried to relax. He desperately wanted to hear what Jack had to say, but it tore at his heart to see his friend suffer; to hear the sorrow in his voice and see the pain in his eyes.
Jack nodded his thanks at Daniel's silence. He glanced down then back up into compassionate blue eyes.
"Well, we both know I didn't go out in a blaze of glory, but what I did do was come back to Earth literally and figuratively," Jack continued. "I made my peace with Sara the best I could, which in retrospect was pretty piss poor. Charlie … well, that …" his voice trailed off as he looked down at his hands. He sighed and looked up. "I never stopped thinking about you, or Skaara and Share. Every time I looked up at the stars I said hello and thanked you. I hoped you were still as happy as the last time I saw you."
"I was," Daniel said quietly. "I thought about you, too. I had hoped you found peace."
"I did, of a sort. I retired and pretty much poked along until I got called back to duty. Next thing I know, you're back in my life and … here we still are. It's been a wild ride, hasn't it?"
"The best of times, the worst of times," Daniel murmured.
"And the ride's not over because I'm not ready to get off," Jack said.
"Neither am I," Daniel replied.
"Good, because you've done more for this planet and her allies than anyone I know."
"Jack, how can—"
"But, in spite of all your accomplishments and amazing talents," Jack continued, cutting off Daniel's protest, "what keeps me getting up each morning is not what's the next planet we're gating to, or is this the day we're going to find a really cool honkin' space weapon we can use? What keeps me getting up each morning is your friendship."
Daniel stared at Jack, bewildered.
"These are the moments I treasure: Daniel Jackson speechless," Jack smiled. "Long story short, Daniel, your friendship is the most important thing to me and … somewhere along the way a physical attraction developed which I hid rather well and never really acknowledged until now," he concluded in a rush.
Daniel continued to stare then jumped to his feet.
"I-I'll get more coffee," he murmured and disappeared into the kitchen.
Jack watched Daniel leave. Although his abrupt departure wasn't the response he hoped for, Jack felt a remarkable sense of peace. Daniel meant the world to him and it was high time he voiced it aloud. His gaze settled on the two empty mugs of coffee on the table.
"You'll need these."
Daniel turned from the window and looked at the mugs, then up at Jack.
"I never knew," he said softly.
"You weren't supposed to," Jack replied.
"There were times when I thought … you hated me," Daniel admitted with effort.
Jack swallowed hard and shrugged. "Like I said, I can be a real ass. I could never hate you, Daniel. Fear you, yes."
"Fear me?" Daniel voiced incredulously.
"You changed me, and I was afraid to acknowledge what you were doing to me."
"So, you pushed me away," Daniel said, his voice heavy.
"I had to, for your own sake," Jack said.
"No, you didn't have to," Daniel insisted. "You were never afraid of me, Jack. You were afraid of your own sexuality."
Jack winced. Daniel was right, but it wasn't something he wanted to examine.
"Look, all I know is I've liked women all my life. I thought Sara was the one I'd spend the rest of my life with. When that fell apart, I didn't really care anymore. I distanced myself from everyone. I wasn't going to go through that pain again for anyone, least of all me. Then Apophis came through the gate and my life was turned upside down. I've gone through so many highs and lows it makes me dizzy to think about them, but there's always been that one constant; that one person who's seen me at my worst, yet never let me down. That one person who tells me I'm full of crap and gives as good as he gets, but who's always there when the chips are down. Crap, I didn't mean to ramble on like this," Jack muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. "Daniel, you're the best friend I've ever had or ever will have. There's no one I feel closer to, and as I said, somewhere along the way a physical attraction developed, too. I hid it and sometimes you got hurt, and I'm sorry for that."
"You never thought to tell me? Maybe just to see how I felt?" Daniel asked.
"Of course I did, but it wasn't appropriate," Jack said, his voice trailing off.
Daniel stared at Jack then his eyes widened. "Shar're," he whispered.
Jack nodded. "She was your life, Daniel, and there was no way in hell I would try to take that away from you and I swear to God, I did my damndest to get her back for you."
"I know you did, Jack. No one tried harder and I'll always be grateful, but why didn't you say anything after Sha're died?"
"You needed to grieve and, well, the time never seemed right. I moved on," Jack said awkwardly.
"Moved on," Daniel said. "You mean, Sam."
Jack winced and scrubbed his hair. "Crap, was it that obvious?"
Daniel smiled sadly. "Sometimes. It never seemed quite right though, for either of you."
"Yeah, it was a big mistake," Jack admitted, "and I don't mean just from a military standpoint."
"People do funny things when they're in love," Daniel said, "um, not that I'm saying you were … in love with me … or anything," he added haltingly.
"I was. I am," Jack said softly.
Daniel suddenly turned towards the counter and gripped the edge with both hands and took a deep shuddering breath. His heart was beating too fast and his cock was straining to get loose. He had done so well in controlling the graphic memories of him and Jack on P7G. He couldn't eliminate them altogether, but he had managed to control them. At least he managed until Jack admitted he was in love with him.
"Daniel?" Jack said worriedly, taking a step towards him.
Daniel shook his head hurriedly and motioned Jack to stop. "I'm okay. It's just … it's-it's a little unsettling to be around you right now," he said with effort.
Jack winced in understanding. "Do you want me to leave? I should leave, shouldn't I?"
"Yes. No!" Daniel blurted. "Just … just wait for me in the living-room, okay?"
"Sure. I'll, uh, go and wait," Jack said helplessly.
Daniel nodded his thanks then concentrated on quelling his erection.
Jack sat down and tapped his fingers nervously on his thigh. He just told Daniel he was in love with him. Everything would change now. He didn't dare think Daniel didn't love him in return. Daniel had said their inhibitions were removed and they wouldn't or couldn't do anything they were adverse to. From what Daniel had said, neither one of them had been averse to having sex. But sex was one thing and love was quite another. Maybe Daniel just wanted sex? Or maybe he was just curious about sex with a male? After all, Daniel was notorious for trying new things. Even now, Daniel wasn't himself because he was still suffering the effects of P7G.
"Oh, crap," Jack murmured.
Daniel had been all bent out of shape these past weeks because being near him triggered memories and feelings from the damn planet. He hadn't functioned properly since returning to Earth and it got so bad he'd gone to General Hammond. Then when Daniel finally confides in him, instead of just accepting it and assuring Daniel they'd fix it, he goes and tells him he's in love with him.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid," Jack muttered, banging his head with his fists.
"Is there something you wished you hadn't said?"
Jack jerked his head up and saw Daniel standing in the doorway looking tense, uncertain, and vulnerable. Jack's heart went out to him.
"No," he said softly, shaking his head. "I was just thinking I kind of blindsided you. You're trying to forget what happened on that planet and I'm wishing to God I remembered. There's irony for you."
Daniel's tenseness was washed away by Jack's words and he sat down.
"That wasn't us on P7G 512," he said quietly. "Not really. I mean, I'm glad to know how well we, um, work together, but if we're going to get together, I want to experience the 'getting there' part. The learning."
Jack's heart beat faster at Daniel's words.
"That means …"
"I'm in love with you," Daniel smiled. "Like you, it just never seemed possible. I never dreamt you'd feel the same way."
"But, unlike me, you didn't have a problem with your sexuality," Jack said, arching his eyebrows.
"I did say that, didn't I?" Daniel winced.
"It's okay, Jack smiled. "Like I said, I blindsided you."
"Just out of curiosity, were we PG-13 or NC-17?" Jack asked.
Daniel lowered his gaze, chewed the bottom of his lip then looked at Jack over his glasses.
"More like triple X."
"Triple?! I've never tripled in my life."
"Yes, you have," Daniel said, his eyes twinkling, "you just don't remember."
"Damn," Jack murmured. "We definitely need to wipe your memory, Daniel. You've got way too much of a head start."
"Which brings us back to General Hammond," Daniel said. "There's something else I should tell you."
"What?" Jack groaned.
"If the general won't, or can't, authorize my return to P7G, I will resign. I attached a signed form to my report."
"Over my dead body," Jack said grimly.
"Jack, you don't understand how … debilitating this is," Daniel said, waving his hand between them.
"We'll figure something out. Besides, Hammond doesn't want to lose you any more than I do."
Daniel opened his mouth to respond, but was stopped by the jarring ring of the telephone. He snatched it up before the third ring.
"Hello? General Hammond, uh, hi."
Jack unconsciously sat up straight, his eyes and ears glued to Daniel's face.
"Yes, sir. Yes, it is very difficult. I wouldn't ask if—"
Jack's heart clenched with fear as Daniel suddenly stopped talking and closed his eyes.
"Thank you, sir. I-I don't know what to say," Daniel said softly.
"Yes!" Jack mouthed, standing up and high-fiving the air.
"Jack?" Daniel queried into the phone.
"Yes, I did tell him. I thought so, too. Good night, sir, and thank you."
Daniel hung up the phone and turned stunned blue eyes to Jack.
"I'm going to P7G at 0800 tomorrow. Apparently, the botany and geology labs have requested more samples as close to the ruins as we can get. We, uh, neglected to do that last time."
"Damn, but I love that man," Jack grinned. "Of course, not like I love you," he added hastily.
Daniel blushed and ducked his head.
"I'm doing it again, aren't I?" Jack asked worriedly.
"Can we talk about hockey or The Simpsons?" Daniel suggested.
"Yeah, how about those Canucks? Crap, now what?" Jack frowned as the phone rang.
Daniel shrugged and answered the phone.
"Hello? Hello, sir. I don't think that's a good—. Yes, sir. Would you like me to tell him? Oh, um, sure."
Daniel held the phone out to Jack.
"General Hammond would like to speak with you."
Jack stood up, cleared his throat, and then took the phone.
"General Hammond. I understand, sir. We'll be ready. Oh, and sir, thank you," Jack said sincerely.
Jack hung up the phone and looked at Daniel.
"Crap, but he can be scary sometimes. How did he know I was here?"
"Best not to think too much on it," Daniel advised.
"Right," Jack said, his mind immediately going to places where it shouldn't. "Well, we've got an early start tomorrow so I better be going," he said, grabbing his jacket off the chair.
"I'm glad we talked," Daniel said, standing up.
"Yeah, me, too. Don't stay up too late," Jack warned as he walked to the door.
Jack paused at the door. "Just out of curiosity, that little romp we took through the sewers?"
"Oh, that," Daniel murmured. "Um, well, I thought it would be easier for me if you were really smelly and gross."
"It must have worked because I couldn't stand to be near me," Jack said.
"It did," Daniel smiled. "But it was still the most direct route out of the city, if that helps."
"I'll see you tomorrow," Jack chuckled. He placed his hand on the door handle then looked back at Daniel standing a few feet away, his head bowed and his hands thrust in his pockets. He smiled. It was an improvement over the self-hugging. On impulse, he took one step back and threw his arms around Daniel, giving him a firm, quick hug.
Daniel squawked and barely got him arms around Jack before the latter pulled away, ruffled his hair and went out the door.
Daniel stared at the closed door. He closed his eyes and smiled as he felt Jack's arms around him. Not the arms from the Jack of P7G, but the arms from his best friend.
Daniel stopped and turned to look at Jack. "Yeah?"
"I'm … I'm having some pretty intense thoughts. It started a little while ago. I thought it was just me being, well, me," he frowned, "but …"
"You can't go any further, Jack. It'll only get harder, um, more difficult for you to control your thoughts," Daniel said seriously.
"Are you feeling it?" Jack asked.
Daniel smiled sadly. "I've never stopped."
"Right," Jack winced. "That's why we're here. Damn it, this is very disconcerting," he growled, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Go back to the Stargate, Jack."
"I can't leave–"
"Yes, you can. You know what will happen. What you're feeling right now is nothing compared to what you'll feel if you go further," Daniel explained. "Trust me on that. I'll be fine. I'll radio every twenty minutes."
Jack loathed to leave Daniel on his own, but he had little choice.
"I trust you, Daniel, but you have to promise me that if you can't find the stuff, if you can't erase the memories, you'll call me and we'll make new memories. No damn surrogate. Do you promise?"
"I promise," Daniel said softly.
"Okay," Jack said. "Good luck."
Daniel nodded, turned and disappeared into the trees.
Jack sighed, turned around and walked away from his friend.
Jack stared at his watch, the seconds ticking down to Daniel's first check-in: three, two, one …
"Jack, you there?"
Jack grinned and spoke into his com unit.
"Okay, who is this and what have you done with Daniel Jackson?"
"Very funny, Jack. I can be punctual."
"You doing okay?" Jack smiled.
"I'm fine. I've been collecting samples on the way. Figure it can't hurt. How are you? Feeling more yourself?" Daniel asked.
"Roger that. You're right about the proximity thing. Once we went our separate ways I started to feel myself again."
"That's good," Daniel replied. "I wish there was some way of learning what exactly is going on here."
"Some things are best left unknown," Jack said. "Just do what you have to do and get back here. Talk to you in twenty. Jack out."
"Right here, Danny," Jack replied promptly.
"Are you inside?" Jack inquired.
"Are you okay?" Jack asked, his nerves pinging at the lack of response. "Daniel, are you there?"
"Sorry. Yeah, I'm here. I tried to call you, Jack."
Jack frowned. "You did call me, Daniel. We're talking right now."
"No. I meant the first time. The radio doesn't work inside. I tried to call you. To warn you," Daniel explained.
"Not to come here," Daniel relayed.
"Water under the bridge, Daniel. I doubt I would have listened to you anyhow. Not if I was feeling what I felt earlier."
"Still, I should've gone back outside and called you. I don't know why I didn't," Daniel said.
Jack could hear the remorse in Daniel's voice.
"One word, Daniel: hormones; the bane of our existence."
Jack smiled as Daniel's soft chuckle came over the airwaves. "Now, hurry up and do what you have to do. You know how much I love waiting."
"Talk to you soon," Daniel said and terminated the transmission.
"Jack, you there?"
Jack looked at his watch and frowned. He'd just talked to Daniel ten minutes ago.
"Daniel, quit stalling and get in there," Jack said.
"I did. I'm out now," Daniel replied.
"Already? That's good, isn't it?" Jack queried.
"I don't know, you tell me."
"For crying out loud, Daniel! Do you remember or not?" Jack asked.
Jack laughed and shook his head. "Daniel, do you remember how to get to the Stargate?"
"Of course I do."
"Then get your ass back here," Jack demanded, grinning.
Jack looked down at his assortment of samples and decided he definitely got carried away.
"Need some help?"
Jack whirled around. "Damnit, Daniel! Don't sneak up on me!"
"Sorry," Daniel said, smirking.
Jack looked at Daniel silently. "Well?"
"Can't remember a damn thing," Daniel shrugged.
Daniel turned and looked back the way he'd come. He frowned, pursed his lips and shook his head.
"I barely remember the ruins. It's an odd feeling," he said thoughtfully.
"Like missing time?" Jack suggested.
"But you do remember why we're here?" Jack asked curiously.
Daniel looked at Jack and blushed.
"Apparently, I needed to come here to forget we had sex. Again, an odd feeling."
"So, you do remember we, uh, did it?" Jack asked vaguely.
"Nooo," Daniel said carefully. "I remember the report I wrote for General Hammond and I remember our conversation last night."
"Then it worked," Jack said.
"I guess it did," Daniel said, still a bit confused.
"Are we okay?" Jack asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I really want to kiss you right now, but I don't know if it's me or this damn planet," Jack frowned.
"I know the feeling," Daniel said quietly.
Jack nodded and scratched the back of his neck.
"I guess we should wait until we get home … just in case."
"Just in case," Daniel agreed.
"Help me with these and let's get the hell out of here," Jack said, gathering up the samples quickly.
"Welcome back, Colonel, Doctor Jackson," George said warmly. "I take it the mission was a success?"
"Samples up the ying-yang, sir," Jack said lightly, holding up his heavy case.
"Jack," Daniel hissed.
"Up the ying-yang?" Daniel muttered under his breath.
"Oh, uh, right," Jack winced.
"Things couldn't have gone better, General," Daniel said quietly.
"I'm glad to hear it, son. Be that as it may, I'd like to see the two of you in my office in one hour. Dismissed."
"Yes, sir," Jack said, steering a worried-looking Daniel towards the door.
"What's that about?" Daniel asked when they were in the hallway.
"I'm not sure, but I think we're going to get a warning," Jack said.
"You know," Jack said, raising his finger to his lips.
""No, I … oh, you mean 'don't ask, don't tell'"
"That's the one."
"I hate the military," Daniel muttered.
"I'm military," Jack said.
"You know what I mean."
"It'll be fine. Let's get changed," Jack said, clapping Daniel on the back.
Jack looked up as he buttoned his shirt and saw a pensive-looking Daniel.
"What?" he asked.
"Earlier, you asked if it was us or the planet," Daniel said
"I remember," Jack said, bending over to tie his bootlaces.
"It's a no-brainer," Jack said, tightening his laces.
"Which means what?" Daniel huffed.
Jack sat up, glanced around the room, then looked at Daniel and whispered, "It means that if we were in an elevator right now, I'd have my tongue down your throat."
Daniel's pensive mouth melted into a wide smile.
"Now, can we talk about something else?" Jack requested.
"Well, I've been trying to think of a plausible excuse for the general to remove P7G 512 from the dialling database," Daniel said.
"Yeah, 'causes personnel to engage in homosexual intercourse' is gonna raise a lot of questions," Jack said glibly.
"And probably a few volunteers," Daniel added.
"No doubt," Jack laughed. "Well, time to face the music, Danny-boy," Jack said, glancing at his watch. "Word of advice, let the general do the talking."
"I'm not looking forward to this," Daniel murmured.
"Gentlemen, please have a seat."
Jack and Daniel glanced at each other then sat down.
"Now, I'm sure you know why I've asked you here," George said, "but before we go any further, I've shredded your resignation, Doctor Jackson. I also want to reassure you both that Doctor Jackson's written report on the events of P7G 512 has been shredded."
"An official document, sir?" Jack asked, eyebrows raised.
"Colonel, would you have preferred it become public knowledge?"
"Of course not, sir, but–"
"I think what Jack is trying to say, General," Daniel interrupted, "is we're
very grateful, but you're taking a great risk to protect us."
"Everyone who goes through that Stargate takes a great risk, Doctor Jackson. My job is to protect the people under my command and the integrity of the Stargate program. I will not lose any sleep over my actions and, as I'm sure you know, erasing the existence of a hand-written report is much easier than a computer-generated report."
"Yes, sir," Daniel said, chagrined.
"There is one question I have for you, son," George said, looking at Daniel. "I understand that neither you nor Colonel O'Neill, remember what happened on P7G as far as your written report disclosed. Is that correct?"
"That's correct, sir," Daniel replied, answering for Jack as well.
"However, having written that report and subsequently talking to Colonel O'Neill, you both do know what happened on P7G," George said.
Jack and Daniel shared a glance then Daniel replied, "Yes, but no, um, details."
George looked at both men for a long time, long enough for the latter to start to sweat.
"Listen to me carefully, both of you," he said quietly. "You have a very strong working and personal relationship. Some would even call it legendary and defying all odds," he smiled. "It's been my pleasure to watch it grow and strengthen over the years. There have been pitfalls along the way, but they've served to strengthen the bond between you. Now, your report, Doctor Jackson, suggests P7G was a retreat, of sorts, with the singular purpose of providing a safe haven for acts of homosexual pleasure."
Jack winced. Hearing the words 'homosexual pleasure' coming out of the general's mouth seemed all wrong.
"Relax, Jack," George said warmly. "I'm not an old prude."
"It never crossed my mind, sir," Jack said defensively.
"Am I correct about the purpose, Doctor Jackson?"
"I can't honestly say, sir," Daniel frowned.
"Of course, you don't remember," George said.
"I can only assume my report was honest," Daniel concluded.
"Assume? For crying out loud, why would you pretend to have … you know if it wasn't true?" Jack said, flustered.
"I lied before. Maybe I lied again," Daniel said, furrowing his brow.
"This is nuts," Jack muttered.
"I assume your second report was truthful, Doctor Jackson," George said. "I also assume that whatever effect the planet may have on a person's psyche, it is not intended to force one into participating in something objectionable."
Daniel glanced at Jack, noting his unease, but seeing the warmth in his dark eyes. He looked back at Hammond.
"Your assumption is correct, General."
Jack sunk lower in his chair. The hammer of authority was about to come crashing down on their heads.
"Well, thank you for your time, gentlemen," George said, pulling a folder off his file. "You're dismissed."
Jack looked at Daniel questioningly then sat up straight.
"Uh, General, sir?"
"Be careful what you ask, Colonel," George warned.
"Funny thing, sir, I can't remember what I was going to ask," Jack said, standing up. "Come on, Daniel, the general has work to do. Daniel?"
Daniel was gazing at Hammond, his emotions plain on his face.
"Daniel, let's go," Jack whispered.
"Doctor Jackson?" George inquired.
"I just want to thank you, sir, for everything," Daniel said sincerely.
"My pleasure, son, and good luck to you, you'll need it," George chuckled.
"Say what?" Jack frowned.
"Come on, Jack, the general has work to do," Daniel said, pulling Jack towards the door.
Jack paused at the door and turned back to George.
"Thank you, sir."
"Don't make me regret this, Jack," George replied.
"Not a chance in hell, sir," Jack smiled.
"So, is what happened back there what I think happened back there?" Daniel asked quietly as he and Jack walked down an empty corridor.
Jack glanced sideways at Daniel. "If you're thinking what I'm thinking you're thinking, then that would be a yes."
Daniel looked thoughtful then asked, "How do we tell Sam and Teal'c?"
"Tell them what?"
"You know what," Daniel frowned, lowering his voice. "That we're … you know."
"Technically, we're not 'you know' because our memories were erased so as far as we know, we never 'you know'," Jack replied.
Daniel's brow creased further. "But we are going to, um, 'you know', right?"
"Oh look, an elevator," Jack mused as two personnel emerged from an elevator a few feet away.
"An empty elevator," Daniel murmured, glancing inside.
"Not anymore," Jack smiled, nudging Daniel into the elevator and quickly closing the door
The end :).
|Genres:||Action/Adventure, Angst, First Time, Friendship, Humor, Hurt/Comfort|
|Summary:||Jack learns from Daniel that a recent mission was anything but routine.|
This story first appeared in Ancient's Gate XVII: Better Days