Part One - Daniel
As I watch you sleep, my mind slides back over the years of our acquaintance, and I wonder how different my life would have been had we never met. What would have become of us both if I had shied away from the opportunity offered by a stranger in the rain so long ago? I thought then that my life was over; impoverished and frustrated by ridicule, I stood poised at the edge of the abyss, my meagre possessions beset by the elements at my feet and all hope of a bright future gone from my heart.
You would laugh if you knew how I wished for some kind of miracle to descend from the heavens at that moment to turn things around. Wishing for miracles was a foolish habit I formed in childhood, after my parents were killed and I was left to fend for myself in the world. As I grew up, I came to the realisation that good things in life don't fall randomly out of nowhere, at least never in my vicinity, and I broke myself of the habit. But, that day, I wished -- harder than I'd ever wished in my life, and my wish came true.
There was no thunderclap, no spotlight suddenly shining out of the sky, no rush of fairies' wings. Just a car pulling up to the kerb and a strange request from a mysterious woman to a man who had nothing to lose. Even in my wildest imagination, I couldn't have predicted where that unexpected encounter would lead.
However, despite its pivotal importance, that is not the meeting on which my thoughts dwell. For there was another meeting that has since come to mean far more to me -- a meeting with a man who would change not only the course of my life but also, and even more unexpectedly, the direction of my heart. It was an inauspicious beginning, fraught with feelings of inadequacy on my part and unbending prejudice on yours. Little did I -- or you, for that matter -- know that, beneath that self-forged shell of guilt and pain, beat the kindest and most courageous heart I have ever encountered.
Love at first sight was most certainly not in the cards for us, and I can't even say that life was immeasurably better from the moment we met. Far from it -- some of my worst experiences have come about through knowing you. The loss of my wife will never cease to cause me sorrow, and the nightmares of addiction, incarceration, torture and insanity will never fully fade. But I hope you know that, given the choice, I would live it all over again if that were what it took to get where I am now.
And where exactly is it that I find myself on this bright morning? Lying next to the man I love, a year to the day since we stopped pretending we were just friends and finally acknowledged the feelings that had been developing between us probably since the first time I died.
As I study your beloved features, still handsome despite the wear and tear of a hard life, I feel you shift beside me and your eyes slowly open. Your gaze meets mine, and a loving smile spreads across your face, filling me with a wonderful warmth.
I say the words I have been waiting a year to say.
"Happy anniversary, Jack."
Part Two - Jack
It's late, but sleep is proving elusive tonight. The light of the moon penetrates the window just enough for me to make out your face as you sleep. It strikes me, yet again, just how strange and wonderful it is to have you in my life. If someone had come to me years ago, and described this to me as my future, I'd most likely have laughed myself silly at the very thought of it. But now I know that anything is possible in a world that created you.
When we met, I was dead in all but the physical sense. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there would never again be peace or happiness for me in this world. I was headed for oblivion on the back of a weapon of mass destruction and nothing was going to stop me from ending my pain in a blaze of glory. The addition of a snivelling scientist to my team was just one more irritation to deal with, one more distraction from my objective, and I wasn't about to waste any effort on trying to make friends.
But oh, how wrong I was about everything. How did you do it? What was it about you that called me up from the darkness? And why -- when you called --did I answer? And at what point along this journey we've shared did I begin to understand why I answered?
I suppose I could analyse this until the end of time, but in the long run it would all come down to you, Daniel. Always you. Only you. Somehow, you brought me back from the edge, showed me how to live again, and opened up a whole new world of possibilities I had never dreamed could exist.
The pain from which I was seeking to escape is still there in my heart; I think it will always be a part of me. But you have taught me that forgiveness can be obtained, even from myself, and that trying to forget only steals the memories I should cherish of my son.
I know the road we've travelled together hasn't been easy, but your immeasurable strength and stern determination to carry on along it never cease to amaze me. It's selfish of me to be glad that things didn't turn out differently, but you've made it clear that I'm somehow worth it all, so who am I to argue?
Tomorrow, it will be exactly a year since I finally took my head out of my ass and admitted to myself and to you that I'm headlong in love with you. What you'll likely never guess is that, deep down, I knew it from the moment you stepped into death's path and were taken from me for the first time. How can I be anything but grateful that you lie here now by my side, mine to love and protect forever?
My musings over, I shift closer to you and your strong arms automatically reach to bring me into your embrace. And with that, a wave of peace settles within me, and I rest, safe in the knowledge of your presence.
The bright morning sun rouses me gently from sleep. I open my eyes to find you looking down at me, and the naked love in that look brings a smile to my lips.
I hear the words I've been waiting a year to hear.
"Happy anniversary, Jack."
|Summary:||Alpha Gate Birthday Fic--a celebratin of J/D.|
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