Summary: Post-Scorched Earth
…don’t make me kill you again, part II…
“Okay, my turn. What the fuck is up your ass?” Daniel asked.
It seemed to be Jack’s turn to eat…a lot.
“Well, it’s certainly not you,” Jack replied irritably as he popped the rest of a taco, dipped liberally in sour cream and guacamole, into his mouth. As he leaned against the breakfast bar, he gave Daniel a very deliberate, accusing glare.
“What’s going on?” Daniel frowned, ignoring the intentional insult as he took off his jacket and sat down at Jack’s kitchen table. Daniel didn’t really need to have his question answered. He pretty much knew the reason, but he wanted Jack to talk. Jack had been somber and downright cranky since returning from the Enkaran – now Gadmeer – planet, and Daniel felt it was time for his lover to vent whether he wanted to or not. His choice of food certainly wasn’t going to help his stomach, but given Daniel’s eating binge after being held captive by Chaka, he was hardly in the position to criticize.
“Jack?” Daniel prodded when Jack didn’t answer him. Jack only stared back at him, then leaned over and picked up another taco. ‘If looks could kill’, Daniel thought. He sighed, then without asking, grabbed one of the twelve remaining tacos on the table and dug in. He waited for Jack to object, but as they so often did this at each other’s homes – sharing meals – the objection never materialized. Instead, Jack merely kept up his silent, angry gaze as he ate.
Daniel knew that Jack would still be angry. He’d expected it, and he could understand the sense of failure Jack felt, but he wished that Jack would cut himself some slack. Problem was, Jack never did. He always held himself to a higher standard than everyone else. Other people were allowed to fail, to make mistakes, but not him. And sometimes, Daniel wasn’t allowed that human luxury, either. It wore a bit thin some days – like now.
Jack had been seen as a hero by the Enkarans, and though he had been embarrassed by it, their feelings had only spurred him on to do better. But he couldn’t do better when it came to dealing with the Gadmeer ship. Jack had had no clue how to help other than ordering Sam to build a bomb. Communication with the ship had never occurred to him because Jack hadn’t seen Lotan as real – not the way Daniel had.
So Daniel had taken it upon himself to try and do what Jack had asked: Give him another choice; an alternate solution. Daniel hadn’t bothered to take his own life into consideration; not that he felt reckless – it just hadn’t occurred to him. Unfortunately, he hadn’t taken Jack’s feelings into consideration, either. He’d ended up bypassing his team leader’s plan by risking his own life, forcing Jack to activate the bomb and effectively kill his teammate, his friend, his lover. And Jack was pissed. Very pissed.
Daniel couldn’t fault Jack for his anger, but after a day and a half of cranky, rude behavior, Daniel was getting pissed off in return. The man, his lover, needed to talk about it and come hell or broken rib, Daniel was going to make him. He knew that Jack was angry at having to kill him – in having that decision forced on him – something to which Daniel could directly relate. He’d had that same decision forced on him months earlier. The shoe was now on the other foot. Jack wasn’t seeing the irony of the situation, but Daniel certainly was.
Several minutes passed in silence. Four tacos were left – and Jack was still standing. From the fridge, Daniel had retrieved a coke for himself and another beer for Jack – and still, the man wasn’t talking.
Daniel wiped his mouth with the napkin and stared back into Jack’s face as he took a sip from his coke. “Are you planning on talking, or do I need to push you into it?” Jack’s eyes were hot with anger, but at least they weren’t cold.
“You wouldn’t like what I have to say, Daniel,” Jack replied in a soft but tension-filled voice.
“Well, if it’s going to be unproductive anger, no I wouldn’t. I already know you’re pissed off, Jack, and I understand, believe me.”
“You’re damned right I’m pissed off,” Jack replied, his voice rising slightly. “As for understanding…hardly.” How the hell could Daniel sit there so damn calmly, Jack wondered. After what he’d gone through, what he’d done, and what he’d made Jack do…
“I understand, and if you’d think about it, you’d know why,” Daniel said, deliberately raising his voice.
Jack turned away and went into the kitchen. He suddenly threw his plate into the sink – hard. The ceramic shattered into several pieces, some of them hitting him and bouncing to the floor.
“Feel better?” Daniel asked sarcastically. He gazed at Jack’s back, watching the muscles flex underneath the blue t-shirt.
From his position at the sink, Jack stared down at the pieces of ceramic next to the drain. His fingers clenched over the edge of the counter, wondering just what the fuck Daniel was talking about – and why the hell the man had come here – and how the hell could Daniel understand any of his anger?
“I’m sorry, Jack,” Daniel told him sincerely as he got up and walked into the kitchen. He folded his arms and leaned against the counter next to Jack. Though he knew that Jack’s anger was justified, to a point, Daniel wasn’t going to let his lover wallow in it. He had to get him to vent – without resorting to more violence.
“Why are you here?” Jack asked, his jaw grinding.
“To get you to vent, to talk to me, to–“
Jack heard enough and held up his hand. “Enough! You know what? You want me to vent, fine! What the fuck were you thinking?”
“You know exactly what I was thinking. I had to try and help and not stand there and let you blow up that ship without considering all options.”
Jack frowned. “It was a robot, Daniel! I didn’t consider it worth talking to.”
“Exactly. You didn’t consider it because that, Jack, is my job. To find alternate solutions.”
“As opposed to blowing things up?” Jack asked sarcastically.
“Well, you don’t always think of things that way, but you asked me, Jack, and you knew I’d try to find something, anything.”
“And you chose to force me to kill you?” Jack finally yelled.
“That was not the plan, no,” Daniel said with exasperation, his own voice rising. “I had to talk to him, Jack. I had to keep trying. I was getting through to him. I could see it. I just needed more time.”
“You were out…of…time! You saw the bomb activate from that ship! You knew I had to do it, too! You forced my hand! Why the fuck would you do that?”
“To save others. You did exactly the same to me,” Daniel answered, trying to sound calm, even though his jaw was starting to grind in frustration.
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
At last, Daniel lost his patience. How could Jack not see this? “What am I talking about? I’m talking about being forced to kill your lover for the greater good.”
“What?” Jack asked him harshly, his eyes seeming to bore holes into Daniel.
“Welcome to the wonderful world of having to push the button on your lover, Jack. Feels damn shitty, doesn’t it?”
“What are you…” Jack started but his voice trailed off as he finally saw what Daniel was getting at. He closed his eyes, passed his hand over his face, and groaned.
“Remember? Not long ago, we discussed that this situation might happen again,” Daniel told him, his voice much quieter. “Well, it has. And now it’s you who’s mad at me. Try…please…to take into consideration that what had to be done, on both sides, had to be done…okay?”
A lot of the anger in Jack started to dissipate, replaced quickly with guilt. Guilt he’d already been feeling. The Enkarans were his to protect. Though not technically true, as it was the SGC who were their protectors, Jack was given command of the missions in finding them a new home, having them live at the base, making friends – he grew to care about these people – a lot. He’d asked for help but Hammond wasn’t authorizing him access to weapons to stop that ship. He’d told Jack to find an another solution – so Jack had: making a naquada bomb. Carter hadn’t been happy with him, that’s for sure, but she’d done as he had ordered her to do.
And then…then there was Daniel. Grudgingly, he admitted to himself that Daniel was right about their situations having been the same. He’d given Daniel the order to blow the sub. Daniel hadn’t actually called down to Jack and ordered him to blow the ship, but Daniel had known the timetable. It was the same. Although…Daniel had been forced to watch Jack die by remote camera, so maybe his position had been a bit harder to deal with.
Jack was very thankful that he hadn’t had that horrific opportunity. But still, he wished Daniel hadn’t put himself in harm’s way. He folded his arms, mirroring Daniel’s stance, staring at the floor. They stood like that for several long minutes, thinking. Jack knew Daniel was waiting…so the least he could do was try to calm down and examine the issues.
So…what was there? One, there was Daniel forcing Jack to kill him. He could have died and it would have partly been Jack’s fault. Two, there was Jack’s assumption that making a bomb to stop the ship would have been the only solution – and the assumption that said solution would have worked. Jack also knew that Sam had had no idea whether or not the explosive capability of the bomb would have actually stopped the ship. In hindsight, it was obvious that the ship had had the power to remove the bomb, so were their efforts all for naught? Would the Enkarans be dead if Daniel hadn’t interfered, and then risked his life?
Jack corrected himself. Daniel hadn’t interfered. He’d found an alternate solution. Something that Jack had asked him to do and hadn’t considered himself. He had been so one-sighted, he had thought only in military terms. Again. After four years of alien missions – and four years of working with Daniel – you’d think he’d learn by now that the way of the gun isn’t always the only way.
Even though he realized all these things, he still couldn’t help the anger – the fear – in having nearly lost his best friend, his lover. He resented having to make a choice over Daniel and the Enkarans – but then, there was really was no choice, was there? Daniel had made it for him. And isn’t that what Jack was actually pissed about? Daniel had made the choices for Jack, had forced his hand…all while trying to do what he thought was best for everyone. Daniel had taken charge of the mission then and there. And that was the real source of the resentment, wasn’t it?
Jack sighed deeply and glanced at his lover. When he spoke, he was no longer yelling but his voice was still heavy with tension. “I know I asked you for another choice, Daniel, but I feel…superceded. You took away my command decision and forced me to kill you. It doesn’t matter that you saved the day or that the ship would have destroyed the bomb anyway. It’s the fact that my authority was taken out of my hands. I hate to feel like I have no choice, Daniel, but it hurts more when my ability to choose is taken away by one of my teammates. It’s going to take me a bit to get over that.” Daniel started to say something, but Jack held up his hand. “Let me finish. I’m grateful that you did what you did, Daniel, and that it all worked out in the end. But the point is, I nearly killed you. Mix that with the resentment and it gets more than a little complicated. Can you understand?”
Daniel nodded. “Part of it. But isn’t it a bit childish to think I took your command away?”
Jack sighed again and shook his head. “No, it isn’t, Daniel. There are matters of discipline within the ranks, especially within a combat unit like ours.”
Daniel’s eyes narrowed. “So ordering Sam to build a bomb is okay, but me taking the initiative and finding another way to handle it isn’t?”
Jack sighed with his own exasperation. “I didn’t believe there was another choice. You found one, without bothering to tell me about it. You didn’t consult me, you just went off and did it. You had a radio, Daniel. As your commander, you should have used that radio of yours – which has a purpose, I believe – and told me.” He paused, staring at Daniel harder, another resentment building. “If you think that my reaction to your going off on your own is childish, well, too bad. I don’t think it is. You shouldn’t have taken the decision to act on your own.”
“You asked me for another choice, Jack. If I had told you what I intended, you’d have said no.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Bullshit. You…would…have…said…no. So, I did what you asked and didn’t bother to tell you.”
“You mean you did what you usually do.”
“Christ, Jack. I ended up helping those people without telling you and you’re mad.”
Jack glared at him, disbelief opening his eyes. “You think that that’s what’s bothering me? That I wasn’t the hero?”
“You’re pissed that I didn’t tell you what I intended to do and that I succeeded where you didn’t.”
Again Jack sighed, only heavier this time. “Yes, you found a solution that worked better than mine, but I’m pissed off about the way you went about it, Daniel, but not because you saved the day.” Daniel gave him a look, telling Jack he didn’t buy all of that. “Fine, it bothers me…a little. If you think that’s childish, too, then so be it,” Jack finished, running his fingers through his hair.
They were silent once more, each going over what the other had said. Minute after minute passed, and as they did, most of Jack’s anger went with it.
“Feeling a bit better?” Daniel asked, breaking the silence.
Jack didn’t want to admit it, but he did feel better. “I guess,” he hedged.
“Are you still pissed off at me?” Daniel then asked, sensing that Jack wasn’t but one could never tell with Jack.
Folding his arms, Jack thought about it. “No,” he drawled. “Not you. Me. I’m pissed off at me. Because I couldn’t see the easier solution.”
“I didn’t think about what would happen to me, or what effect it would have on you, and I’m sorry. We both know that the consequences of our actions can sometimes be deadly. And staring at a naquada bomb ready to explode isn’t my idea of an easier solution, Jack.”
Jack stared at him. No, it wasn’t an easier solution. It took fucking balls to do that. He finally nodded, letting Daniel know he understood. “Tell me about it. Been there, done that.”
Again, minutes passed in silence, but not inaction. Jack bent over and picked up the few shards of ceramic that littered the floor, then turned back to the sink and set about picking up the pieces there.
Daniel lifted the garbage can and held it next to the edge of the counter as Jack dumped the plate’s remains into it. He met Daniel’s eyes in a silence thank you for the help.
“Do you want me to go?” Daniel asked as he stared at his lover, feeling guilty now for calling him childish. He didn’t like to fight with the man – well, not over something like this. Other things though…were fun.
Jack shook his head. “No, you don’t have to. But…it’s…I’m not going to be much fun to hang around. I feel like shit…about everything.”
“You’re not the only one, Jack.”
“So you’re going to stay then, despite my being an asshole?”
“Sure, why not?”
“Misery loves company, eh?”
“Something like that,” Daniel said as he stared intently at him. He set the can down, then moved over to the kitchen table to gather up the taco wrappings. He was fidgeting. The one thing he wanted to do more than anything was–
Jack’s hand was suddenly around his bicep, pulling him back toward his lover. Daniel found himself wrapped up in Jack’s strong arms, engulfed in a tight hug. Jack didn’t say anything, but Daniel knew what his lover felt. His body spoke volumes, as did his silence. Jack loved him, and didn’t want to lose him. The feeling was mutual and Daniel remained silent, returning the embrace. They stayed locked together for a while, each feeling the warmth of the other – and how alive the other was.
Then Jack’s mouth was on his own, and Daniel reacted by pushing his tongue insistently into Jack’s mouth, to taste, demand, and console. Their firm, desperate hands moved over the other, and the more they felt, the more they wanted. Their need suddenly became paramount. Daniel opened Jack’s jeans, just as Jack started on his own. Part of the contents of the kitchen table were swept aside as Daniel pushed Jack onto his back and pulled his jeans down. Jack kicked off his shoes just as his jeans reached his ankles and soon, his legs were free of those, too. He then quickly removed his shirt, tossing it to the floor, staring up at Daniel as his lover’s shirt followed suit. Jack looked around him, the desperation climbing, but Daniel had found the oil behind him on the counter. His pants around his ankles, Daniel slicked himself up, then lifted Jack’s legs over his shoulders. Cool liquid was rubbed over Jack’s entrance and without further prep, Daniel leaned over his lover and pushed slowly inside.
Jack clamped his hands over the rise of Daniel’s ass. “Don’t wait,” Jack gasped. “Fuck me, hard and fast.”
Wordlessly, Daniel did as asked. His hips circled, angled, and pushed; he was balls deep, and moving slowly – at first.
“Daniel,” Jack demanded.
Grasping the edge of the table over Jack’s head, pushing Jack’s knees to his chest, Daniel fucked him – grinding, thrusting, sending shudders of pleasure – of needed relief – through Jack, through himself. Jack’s breathing shortened quickly and through his gasps, he demanded again, harder, faster. His fingers digging into Daniel’s back, Jack tipped his head back and let himself go – yelling out orders, orders which Daniel obeyed with animalistic abandon.
The table itself began to rock back and forth, its legs squeaking roughly over the floor. The sound of it spurred them on, almost as if they wanted the table to collapse under them. Daniel slammed his hips rapidly against his lover’s ass, rocking Jack back and forth as his abdomen slid over the length of his lover’s cock. The motion against his balls and over his gland was enough for Jack. He suddenly hissed, growling through gritted teeth as he spilled his release thickly over his skin, over Daniel’s. Daniel frantically clutched the edge of the table as his own orgasm followed, filling his lover for what seemed like forever.
As they breathed hard against the other, with Daniel slowly letting Jack’s legs down, they shared a deep kiss. Daniel pushed up, taking his weight off of Jack, then looked to the side of Jack’s head…and started to laugh softly.
Jack frowned. “Not a moment that’s generally considered funny, Daniel.”
Daniel reached up, near the top of Jack’s head, and fingered Jack’s hair – hair now a bit green with guacamole. He showed Jack his finger, coated with the dip. Jack grinned. “Next time, it’s you that gets the table.”
“I can’t wait,” Daniel grinned in return as he pulled Jack up to a sitting position, then stepped back. Jack groaned as he stood up, rubbing his lower back.
“I’m getting too old for tables.”
Daniel’s eyes sparkled. “Well, not that old, Jack. Besides, spontaneous, needy sex is good for you.”
“And you,” Jack agreed, matching the light in Daniel’s eyes.
Stepping out of his pants, Daniel followed Jack to the bathroom. As they shared their shower, Daniel took something else upon himself and began to wash Jack’s hair for him.
“Daniel, I can–“
“Yes, you can, but let me. It’ll feel good. Trust me.”
Jack grinned, then seemed to melt under Daniel’s hands as they massaged his scalp. Gathering up the lather that he’d already had in his hands, Jack ran his hands over Daniel’s skin, caressing and massaging in return. He moaned as Daniel’s fingers on his scalp somehow relaxed the muscles in his neck, along with unknotting the ones in his lower back. He slid his hands over Daniel’s ass, showing appreciation.
“Told you,” Daniel whispered as he kissed him.
“Stop being right, would you? It’s annoying.”
“I’m not right all the time, but I’ll see what I can do about being wrong more often,” Daniel replied as his fingers slowed against his lover’s scalp.
Jack opened his eyes and stared into those bright blue eyes. He knew Daniel was teasing, that he couldn’t possibly stop giving one hundred percent any more than Jack could. Neither were perfect, but it seemed that they expected it in themselves…and sometimes, in each other.
Daniel nodded mutely in understanding. They continued washing the other, trying to wash away the resentments, the anger, and the tension they felt on a daily basis. As soapy hands slid lovingly over skin, it seemed to work. For a while.