Mature | Jack/Daniel | Daniel 1st person POV | Post-Series
Summary: Daniel’s jotting down some thoughts in his journal about the definition of epiphany and why it came about.
Author Note: This 1st person POV is unusual for me. I don’t read them, not in fanfic. The voices are rarely right. I’ve attempted this myself only once before and didn’t succeed all that well. But I decided to give it another try, that perhaps going at it from a journal perspective might work better. At least that’s what the muse decided when she threw this bunny at my head. Thanks to my betas who helped with that. *I forgot this wasn’t on AO3. Now it is, if you feel like commenting or leaving Kudos.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Sometimes, you get a thought in your head that isn’t like all the other thoughts. It’s what some call an epiphany, although I’m not sure what I’d call it. It’s like some dawning or clicking realization, when all the tumblers in a lock have finally slid into place. I know it’s not some quick thought process, the one that happens when you’re stuck on a test question and just before time is up, the answer comes.
I know this isn’t what Sam calls one of my weird flashes of insight. I’d be stuck on some problem and it would suddenly come to me, always aided by a visual cue. Sam also calls it zoning. I told her once that’s not what I’d call it and she’d said, “Not what most people would call zoning because yours only lasts a few seconds.” I told her that’s called thinking and she’d just smirked at me. Maybe it is zoning, but that sounds inaccurate somehow. Flash of insight sounds better, if a little pretentious.
Whatever it is, call it zoning or flash of insight, it’s what happened ten years ago when I was stuck on those frustrating symbols on the stargate’s coverstone. I’d been so goddamn tired, and the coffee wasn’t doing much good anymore, even though I’d continued to drink it anyway. I’d casually looked over at the guard’s newspaper and saw the map of Orion on the page. I stared for a few seconds and suddenly understood everything I’d been trying to figure out. I’ve never actually thought about how I do what I do. It’s a natural process for me and all due respect to Sam, I think it’s nothing more than a focus of concentration.
So an epiphany is what, a sudden understanding? For now, I’ll just use that. This “epiphany” happened this evening. And it happened because Jack was here. He’d flown over from D.C. this afternoon because Jack is a man who really, and I mean *really*, doesn’t like change, especially when it happens to him. It’s why he dragged me, Teal’c, and Sam into my office the day Elizabeth told him he was going to command the SGC. Jack wanted–actually, he *ordered*–some input. I know he’d already accepted the job. The thing was, he wanted us to talk him out of it. He wanted to remain leader of SG-1, not become the leader of the SGC. Instead, we gave him good reasons to take that promotion.
I know he hates his current job, Commander of Homeworld Security. He does it because he’s been asked and because he thinks it’s important to have someone there who knows what the hell he or she is doing. In my opinion, he’s the best one for the job, even though I’d rather he was back at the SGC. But even at the SGC, it’d be a desk job and Jack hates is sitting at a desk. He likes to participate, not watch, and that’s the biggest reason he didn’t want to command the SGC.
But whether it’s at a desk or leading in the field, Jack does his job the best way he sees fit. Sometimes that doesn’t quite mesh with his superiors. I think it came as quite a shock when the IOC were told, in pretty much the “Jack” way (although there was a bit of President Hayes in there somewhere), that civilians don’t run the SGC, nor do they run Area 51. It also came as quite a shock when the President ordered him to listen to the IOC. Jack would like nothing better than to tell the civilians, including Hayes, to go fuck themselves. Not quite in those words, but I’m positive Jack would love to use them.
I know it’s hard for him, dealing with civilians who don’t understand how things run, but if Sam can do it, so can Jack. I think she’s still trying to get used to doing things the civilian way in Atlantis but so far as I can tell, she’s doing well. She has a lot of military there so that makes it easier. Still, I think she could use my help. That’s presumptuous because they’ve gotten along fine without me, but I could contribute there. And I really need to go. Badly. Truthfully, it’s not for her sake, but for my own.
So I’d resubmitted my request for transfer yesterday. Landry wasn’t thrilled but he’d okayed it. Then Jack was told. And that is why he showed up on my doorstep today, to talk me out of it. I can’t understand, even now, why he’s so determined to keep me from doing what I love to do. What I need to do. I mean, I understand a *little* bit now, but I didn’t earlier so I’m afraid I got a bit angry with him.
Of course, angry for me means that I raised my voice and didn’t beat around the bush. I told him that if it hadn’t been for that woman (Vala), I’d already be at Atlantis. If he was willing to sign-off on it then, why the change of heart?
Jack doesn’t like logic thrown back in his face when he clearly thinks he’s right. He didn’t like me reminding him that he had already let me go once. Which made me ask, “Why do you think it’s your job to keep me here? Teal’c’s gone and so is Sam. It’s time for me to go too.” And it is. There are people at the SGC who can do my job. So it’s time for me to try and make a difference someplace else. That place is Atlantis.
Jack seemed to understand but he still wasn’t happy. Still didn’t want to let me go. My frustration with him only intensified. So I gave every reason I could think of that could make him understand. Unfortunately, I slipped. I gave a personal reason and that was what stuck with Jack. Why the hell would it have to be that? Why is it that he argues with my professional reasons, but the moment I mention something personal, he backs off a little? Jack’s all about business. Well, most of the time.
As for the personal reason. It’s not the deciding factor, because my career has always come first. It’s my need to discover, understand, influence other people’s understanding, make a difference. The reason isn’t flimsy, like not being able to remain in the same room with Vala without wanting to leave soon after. I know the woman means well and she’s trying to find a new life, but she can do that elsewhere on Earth. She doesn’t have to be part of the SGC, and I don’t have to tolerate her pathological need to insult me at every opportunity.
Granted, I’ve dealt with that sort of thing before and it was never a problem. Steven was always undercutting me, always trying to find a way to sabotage my relationship with Dr. Jordan. But here’s the thing. He had something to gain out of it, and I understood his jealousy even if I would never have acted that way myself. For Vala, it’s just simple vindictiveness and I can’t work under those conditions anymore. For the last two years, I’ve been willing to stick it out with Mitchell because he’s a good man, if a bit too Energizer Bunny. I like his enthusiasm and I completely understand it. I also think he’d be glad to be rid of Vala. But I can’t stay anymore. Vala is an excuse but she’s not the reason.
I know I could have made her the reason I need to leave. I could have told Landry that Vala’s contribution to the team, to the SGC, doesn’t require her to be on SG-1. That she’s a walking mine field and *the* reason we run into problems off-world. Mitchell would have backed me up. He’s just as fed up. But I didn’t go there, didn’t even try. That personal angle would have been taken as a weakness, as my inability to do my job. I’ve done all the arguments and counter-arguments in my head and in the end, my own pride won’t allow me to take that personal stance. So the only qualitative reason for my leaving, to go to Atlantis, is because it’s time for me to move on. It’s that simple. I’m not happy anymore. Teal’c has gone back to Dakara because he’s needed there and he’s happy to be doing something for his fellow Jaffa, even if the work is hard. Sam has been assigned to Atlantis because she’s needed *there* and she’s happy there, tackling a new problem. Sam loves unraveling them.
I just wish that Jack would understand my view, that I really want to go. I could learn so much, do so much better. I could help. I feel so strongly about it that the moment I heard Sam was reassigned, I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. I know that my feelings never crossed Jack’s mind when he gave her the post. He was thinking only of what was good for Atlantis and good for Sam. She would do a good job and that’s exactly what she’s doing.
Still, it stung. And I told Jack that. I’d never have admitted that to him before, but he got me mad today. I’d told him that after all of my attempts to go, he’d sent Sam. And so I used that as emotional blackmail. It wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair, but it was the truth.
And he listened. Why does it take something drastic for him to listen? I’d tried everything else. My dislike of Vala, my feeling of uselessness here. None of that seemed to matter to him because he’s worked in places he’s hated. He goes where he’s told, does his job as well as he is able. I reminded him that I’m a civilian and I don’t work that way. But I also agreed with him. I’ve been sent on digs I didn’t like, worked with people I didn’t like. Vala is just the latest.
I didn’t really want to say it because it might have sounded colder than I intended, but I told him that there wasn’t anything more for me to do as a member of SG-1. Our mission was basically over, and my participation was no longer necessary. Much as I loved being part of SG-1 and much as I love traveling through the gate, I want to do it on my own terms, to be able to do something more worthwhile. I had to remind him that there are plenty of other people that I’ve *trained* to do my job and so it’s time for me to move on. Jack wasn’t too happy with that, as I knew he wouldn’t be.
It was hard telling him, but not too hard since I’d already given that same speech to Landry. The only difference with Jack was that I’d added my increasing intolerance for Vala’s interference with my work. It was someone else’s turn.
It was a tough sell, and I finished making my case not long after dinner. It took that long. What’s amusing me now is that in the middle of everything (the argument), I’d made Jack dinner. I thought I did it out of a sense of nostalgia or just being a good host, but in fact, I was glad to see him, no matter the cause and despite the arguing. It was almost like the old days. Not that I’d ever cooked for him or that he’d ever cooked for me. It’s simply a sense of being together, maybe a sentimental feeling that has no particular point of reference.
Anyway, then… well, the world as I knew it crashed. Though I’d made my case, I’d still continued to argue, turning it back on him. I’d asked him why he wouldn’t let me go. I knew there was something he was refusing to say or admit. So I kept at him, and I’m afraid my third glass of 7-Up and Grand Marnier helped. Liquid Courage, isn’t that what they call it? I think the more appropriate term should be “Subtlety Has Left the Building.” In my case specifically. I wouldn’t let up. I kept at him, asking him to give me one damn good reason why he wouldn’t let me leave.
He didn’t give me an answer. Maybe it was out of shyness or embarrassment. Whatever it was, Jack had decided that he’d had enough, and it was time to get up and leave. For me, that only made for more frustration and annoyance, maybe a little anger. Plus, I couldn’t let him drive. He’d had his own glasses of 7-Up and Grand Marnier. But in retrospect, I don’t think that’s why I didn’t want him to go. Had I somehow known what would happen when I grabbed him and told him he couldn’t go, that he’d been drinking and would have to stay? I hadn’t even offered a cab ride. I’d just told him to stay. Had I *really* known what would happen?
I don’t think so. I know I was taken completely by surprise and shocked beyond belief when he grabbed me by my shoulders and growled, “You wanna leave, fine. You have my permission.”
And then … he kissed me. And I mean, he *kissed* me. It wasn’t a close-mouthed, first-timers kiss, either. He laid one on me and my mouth opened before I knew what I was doing. But when his tongue entered my mouth, I knew very well what I was doing.
It was bizarre. It was wonderful. It was *scary.* I grabbed him back and I remember my heart was beating so goddamn fast. I was pressed against him and he felt so warm, so hot. Then it was all either of us could do to get our clothes off and get into the bedroom. It took forever. I think my lips were locked to his out of a fear of pulling back and taking a breath. Because if I did, I feared it would stop, that he’d come to his senses or I’d come to mine.
That happened anyway, the pulling back. Jack did it first and when he did, and we looked at each other, that fear filled me. I’d stared into his eyes, thinking that they’d never given me that look before. It was a look I liked and a look I needed. I think I saw confusion and doubt race across his face, but then his eyes changed and there came acceptance. No words were needed so I just nodded. After that, we were kissing again.
He was pulling at my clothes, I was pulling at his. I distinctly remember six specific moments after that. The rest is a blur of wonderful pleasure and unfortunate trepidation. The first moment was when I was thinking how the hallway wasn’t exactly a great place and I wanted to stop long enough to take his hand and lead him to my bedroom. But I also didn’t want to take a break, to stop having his hands on me, his tongue in my mouth. 7-Up and Grand Marnier tastes very good on Jack’s tongue.
The second moment was feeling his hand over my crotch, cupping me. It had been a while since I’d had anyone, never mind a man, touch my dick or my balls, so when he touched me, all I wanted to do at that moment was rub against his hand forever. The third thing I remember was *my* feeling *him* through his trousers. At that point, I forgot all about his hand and forever. I needed skin, not clothing, and I needed to wrap my hand around his cock.
The fourth moment was feeling his weight, combined with my feeling him under me. It’s a tie because I can’t decide which I like better. Lastly, the fifth and sixth moments go together. There was the feel and taste of him in my mouth and the way his dick swelled with my mouth around it. Coupled with that were the encouraging sounds he made, letting me know what he really liked. His dick is just a tiny bit too big for my mouth, but it’s not a problem when he’s bucking and straining and the warm jets of come are hitting the back of my throat. He’s a hair grabber, too. He doesn’t pull and push, which relieved me no end because it’s one thing I’d rather not have to teach him.
The sixth moment was the feel of his mouth on me. He doesn’t fool around yet he takes his time. Like me. Who would have thought that the one damn thing we have in common, that we do nearly the same, is suck cock? The one thing Jack does differently is rim. I don’t like to receive it as much as I like to give it. But after Jack, or maybe it’s because it was our first time, I may grow to like it. He rims like it’s his favorite meal. And ew, maybe that’s the wrong word there, but he certainly likes doing it.
Doesn’t matter. With his fingers giving me a prostate massage and his mouth going like crazy over my dick, I came so hard that it didn’t matter what I wasn’t too fond of before. I even curled my toes. I remember actually grabbing bits of blanket with them as I jerked into his mouth.
He’s asleep right now. I’m out here in the living room, writing this down so I don’t forget it. So I could have some sort of record of how I felt about today. Well, technically it was yesterday. We haven’t had anal sex. I’d like to, but maybe Jack’s not up for it just yet. I haven’t found out yet what Jack prefers, top or bottom. If I tell him I’m a switch, maybe that’ll encourage him to show me his preference. I’d like to find out before I leave.
Which brings me to the trepidation mentioned earlier. I understand why he didn’t want me to leave. I don’t want to leave him, either, but I still have to leave. It’s a confused, absurd feeling. I’ve got two weeks before the Daedalus comes back from their current flight to Atlantis so I’ve time to get my affairs settled. Perhaps that’ll be plenty of time to get me and Jack settled, too. Maybe this is a beginning for us, or perhaps we’ll decide that it won’t work. Right now, I think it will, but I think I’m still in afterglow even though it’s been about six hours since our second and last round of sex. Why is it that first times can make you hard and ready sooner than usual? It’s a shame that tends to wane. Still, it’s a waning I’d like to live with for the rest of my life.
Jack’s awake. And he’d like me to come back to bed, but I want to finish this entry first. Funny how he’s thirteen years older yet he’s the one with the hard-on and I’m just sort of at half-mast. Still, if I think about lying under him, imagining that cock of his moving inside me… not so much at half-mast anymore.
One last thing. The epiphany. I love him. It’s not that I didn’t before, but I mean *love* love. I don’t know about “in love” because I sort of equate that with relative newness and we’re hardly new. But yes, *love* love. I love him.
The epiphany came, however, after he’d said it first. This was the whole reason for the epiphany in the first place. Jack had said it first. It was between the first and second time together so there was no afterglow moment making him say it. We were calm, sleepy, dozing off for a while before we were both hit with a snack attack.
Between Pizza Roll bites, Jack told me loved me, and said it as simply as he had when he’d told me about the promotion to HWS. I’d stared back at him and it was like a gong had been hit somewhere inside my head. So I said it back. There wasn’t any hesitation or misgiving. It wasn’t *because* he said it first. Not like a requirement to return the sentiment. It was simply because he’d said it and at that moment, it hit me that I loved him too. When I said it, I’d done so with a surprised look on my face that had made him laugh, then tease me about it. I really didn’t mind. Somewhere inside, I was teasing myself.
I can’t help but wonder why it hadn’t occurred to me before, my loving him. Or why it took physical contact with him to make me see it. Makes me wonder if I’d have come to that epiphany without it. What if he’d simply said “I love you” at the door before any of this started? Would I have known then? Maybe. I’ll never know. What I do know is that I don’t associate romantic love with sex. I think it was simply time for me to see it.
It does make me wonder though. How long has Jack known how he felt? And can I get it out of him? I wonder if he likes bondage.
P.S. He’s a very skillful, very creative top. Why am I not surprised?