…no rest for the wicked…
For once, the normal annoyance of the transport’s loud engines seemed to be a lulling comfort, but for Jack, not Daniel. For once, Daniel couldn’t have cared less. He was out cold courtesy of the sedative Jack had slipped into his can of coke. Jack had to remember to buy Janet something embarrassingly expensive for her birthday. Or the 4th of July, he wasn’t picky. Both dates suddenly reminded Jack that Daniel’s birthday was coming up in a month. He had to plan something special. Hopefully, Daniel’s leg would be all healed by then.
He looked fondly at the injured man somewhat reclining next to him, buffered by ‘pillows’ that were really old parachute sacks. Jack had grabbed several in the hangar, knowing that Daniel would need them. He was in pain, so the secret dosing of the tranquilizer was useful for two reasons, because Daniel wouldn’t take the painkillers Janet had prescribed. Ever since the addiction to that damned sarcophagus, Daniel had rejected the use of narcotics when he had the choice not to take them. He preferred to suffer through his pain by taking regular ibuprofen or aspirin.
Jack’s expression changed from fondness to outright doting and worry, allowing himself the luxury, knowing that none of the crew was scrutinizing them. Even if someone cared to, all they would see was a team leader and C.O. caring for his subordinate. Jack was allowed–unofficially. All the experienced vets would know and understand how that went. The inexperienced ones could go fuck themselves.
Jack took advantage of Daniel’s unconscious state and looked over his friend, his teammate, his lover, lifting the hem of his shirt, pulling at the collar to scan underneath, carefully cataloguing the hurts over all the places he could see or get to. He’d tried to do that before, without touching, of course. In Nicaragua and on the plane to Edwards. Daniel had scowled and reprimanded him every time he’d caught Jack doing it, so Jack had finally desisted, waiting until they’d touched down at Edwards. Even then, sitting in the treatment room they’d been whisked to, Daniel had informed Jack that if he didn’t quit it, he’d take his head off. The little one.
So Jack had waited, impatiently, as Janet had been choppered over to act as Daniel and Dr. Lee’s personal physician (matters of National Security, the base doctors had been told, and boy, had they been pissed). She’d performed the emergency surgery on Daniel’s leg, surgery that Hammond had said only she was authorized to do per the orders of the Joint Chiefs–which explained why Daniel hadn’t been flown to a hospital out of the country. No juris-fucking-diction. Jack hadn’t cared at the time, remembering how livid he’d been for Daniel having to wait till they arrived at Edwards. While they all understood the necessity of the secrecy, Jack had had no room for it. He’d been…less than diplomatic.
“If that artery had been blown to smithereens, what difference would it have made who did the fucking sewing?”
Daniel had intervened, of course, cutting off Jack’s protests with a little reminder that Jack so did not need to hear. “If they’d hit the artery, Jack, I’d have bled to death faster than you or Agent Burke could have stopped the bleeding.”
Jack remembered grumbling under his breath about that; remembered stories his dad and grandfather had told him about World War II and Vietnam; about men dying so fast from blood loss that it had been shocking to watch. All because that femoral artery was fucking huge and nothing short of a pair of hemostats would cease the bleeding. Jack privately told himself that once they got home, he’d requisition several hundred hemostats for the field packs’ first aid kits.
He took a deep breath and slowly let it out as he looked Daniel over. The mottling of the skin under the collarbones was the worst. Daniel’s cut and bruised face and arms should have been, because they were more visible, but Jack knew what the mottling was caused by as he’d seen it before. And he didn’t want to see it this time, either, nor the other hurts, but he felt he needed to. He had to memorize every red, angry welt and cut on Daniel’s wrists, every purpling bruise along his jaw, ribs, and abdomen.
He grimaced at the light bruise which was too fucking close to Daniel’s left kidney. If one had never seen a bruise on the skin in the shape of a boot print, one would see only a curious design. But Jack knew what he was looking at, and the reason it showed. It told of being stomped on, not of being kicked. Fresh rage began to well up again and it was all Jack could do to keep from getting up and punching something. Hard. He wanted to kill the bastards who’d done this, and was just as angry that he had killed them before knowing the extent of what they’d done.
Turbulence from the plane jostled them, and worried that it might jar Daniel awake causing renewed pain, Jack laid an arm possessively over Daniel’s body, trying to carefully hold him still. After the plane settled, he risked being seen as he repositioned an errant strand of hair from Daniel’s forehead. He couldn’t help but look for other signs of the torture as he did so. All things considered, Jack knew that Daniel and his colleague had gotten lucky, though he knew Daniel wouldn’t see it that way. When they got to the base, Daniel would get an MRI–and he’d have to be sedated for that, too.
The weeks ahead were going to be hell for Daniel, and Jack knew that if he was going to help Daniel get through the trauma–and god, there were going to be some nightmares for a while–he had to know the extent of everything. He only hoped that Daniel would start talking after they got home, because he certainly hadn’t been forthcoming up to now.
“Just the usual torture methods conducted by revolutionaries in the Central American jungle,” was all he’d said. Jack knew Daniel wouldn’t tell him the details unless Hammond ordered him to do it–and sometimes, not even that could get Daniel to talk. Daniel preferred to keep his traumas to himself, to push them down, to behave as if they were an allergy he could shake off with a pill from Janet. If only a pill could fix what had happened.
So far, Jack had had to rely on what he’d already seen–the evidence in the compound. Burke had seen it and the expression on his face as he and Jack had looked into that building…well, Jack had had to put a clothes pin in that.
“Say nothing to him.”
“Why? Think he’ll go mental?”
“No. But if you confront him, he’ll only say it’s not as bad as it looks. So just don’t say anything to him.”
“How can he deny all this shit?”
Burke’s voice had risen and Jack remembered gesturing angrily for him to lower it, whispering as he did so.
“Trust me, Burke. He can.”
“Okay, I get it. He’s like you.”
They’d moved on, finding the makeshift shack that Daniel and Bill Lee had been held in. Jack had actually seen worse, though it had been a while, and the smell of a shack stinking of sweat, urine and feces, while rotting in the hot tropical jungle…well, it hadn’t been hard to see Daniel’s motivation in getting the hell out of there. Nevermind the fact that he had to have known that his days were numbered. There’d been the boards pried loose in the back and Jack automatically knew that Daniel had done it, not Lee.
Jack suddenly recalled Daniel’s voice in that treatment room at Edwards.
“Jack, you should know…”
Jack hadn’t needed to ask what that had meant.
“He’s not as strong as you.”
“He just hasn’t had the training–“
“He’s not the type, Daniel.”
“Okay, maybe not, but that doesn’t explain the fact that I–“
“Hey, this whole thing is not your fault, so don’t pull a guilt trip. You also couldn’t have protected him, so don’t go there, either.”
Daniel had gone quiet and had stayed that way, even throughout Janet’s examination, giving her nods and shakes of the head to answer her questions.
Jack had known, right at that moment, that Daniel’s torture had been longer in duration because he hadn’t talked. Without even asking, Jack knew. Daniel was one stubborn sonofabitch. And he’d suffered for it. Yet, Lee was the one falling apart at the seams. Jack cast a brief look toward the front of the plane, and could barely make out the balding head of the man slumped down in the seat, also sleeping. His arm lay on the armrest, and it was twitching, despite the amount of sedative that also had him asleep.
Jack quickly looked over and Daniel was twitching, too. A little. It showed in his face, the occasional little ticks next to his eyes or his mouth.
Jack suddenly felt the irrational urge to throw Lee off the plane, even though he knew it wasn’t the scared little man he was angry at. Lee was the convenient outlet Jack needed, someone to blame and vent his rage on. The perps were dead, so they weren’t of any use. There hadn’t even been the momentary guilty pleasure of killing something out of rage instead of preservation, although seeing the zombie guy blown to bits had been sickly satisfying.
Jack sighed again and closed his eyes. What a fucking mess.
“Colonel?” Janet whispered, and touched his shoulder.
Jack blinked awake and sat up slowly. “Yeah?”
“Sir, could I speak with you?”
“I’d rather tell you this before we touch down, before Daniel wakes up.”
Uh oh. Jack got up and followed her down the wide aisle, moving past Lee’s seat. She slowed down, then stopped and turned to him. “Sir, I’ve contacted General Hammond and given him a preliminary health report on Daniel and Dr. Lee.”
Jack nodded, the motion telling Janet to get on with it.
“Sir, I’m afraid that situations like this will require them to have an evaluation with Dr. MacKenzie.”
Jack made a face, clearly unhappy, and let out a slow growl of disgust. “Dammit, Doc, couldn’t you have just left that shithead out of this?”
“I’m sorry, Colonel, but I had to give the General my full report on the injuries. You know that.”
Jack sighed, running his hand down his face. “Yeah, I know.”
“I know what those people did to him, Colonel. And when I was stationed in Belize, I saw it there, too.”
Jack’s eyes narrowed. “And?”
“Daniel’s mental health may be an issue. You know as well as I do that there’ll be trauma to deal with.”
Jack nodded, becoming annoyed with her. “He’ll have nightmares. It’s called being normal, Doc. Been there, done that. I know what to expect and so does Daniel. He doesn’t need to see that quack.”
Janet took a deep breath. “Well, aside from his errors in diagnoses concerning the stargate, which I have to say were understandable, given the unknown status of anything medical relating to it–“
“The point, Doc?”
“He’s the only one qualified to talk to Daniel.”
“Bullshit. You are more qualified than he is. Martise ring a bell?”
“Perhaps, sir, but the brass in Washington–“
“For cryin’ out loud, Doc!”
“Colonel, they’re asking for a psychological evaluation because of what happened with Martise. Now this has happened.”
“So they won’t recognize anyone without the proper initials after the name?”
“I’m afraid that’s it in a nutshell, sir.”
“I don’t fucking believe this…” Jack covered his eyes and fought off the urge to scream. Daniel wasn’t going to like this. At all.
Daniel was at the point where hiding in a storage closet sounded like a perfectly rational decision–because the next person who asked after his health, in that “be careful of Doctor Jackson, he’s fragile” voice, was getting one of his crutches stuffed up their ass.
It hadn’t helped that he had been practically carried off the plane, as well as the SGC transport van, all because Jack had slipped him that sedative. Daniel had then found himself in the luxurious accommodations of Janet’s infirmary, with an IV in his arm and an MRI scheduled for the next day. After seeing MacKenzie.
No one had warned him about his having to see that shrink and he was still a tiny bit pissed with Jack about that, though he knew the reason for Jack’s selective information-giving.
But, it didn’t really matter. The visit had gone as Daniel had expected, with few surprises. While still a bit shaky from his ordeal, Daniel had managed to convince MacKenzie that the shakes were due to side-effects from the electrocution (plausible) and from the pain in his leg (also plausible). MacKenzie had bought everything, but had found it necessary to remind Daniel (of all people) about the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. He’d then made Daniel’s day by informing him of the scheduled check-ins. Daniel had then tried to excuse himself from them, but MacKenzie had made his argument with one unflappable point: The visits were required for Daniel’s return to duty, so he couldn’t get out of them. Daniel had had to bite down on the urge to whack that smug face when MacKenzie had told him that said visits were to be twice a week for four weeks, then once a week for two more, making it a grand total of six fabulous weeks with Doctor Quacky.
Daniel sighed tiredly and leaned against the wall as he waited for the elevator. He was so not a happy camper and the visit with MacKenzie had left him drained. He did not like that man, nor did he trust him. He had to see him again on Friday, three days from now, and hoped that he would be better prepared, mentally. He wished he could have seen Janet instead, but she wasn’t a ‘shrink’ so he wasn’t officially allowed. Apparently the idiots in D.C. trusted her to deal with suspected Goa’uld implantations or other invasions of his mind, but shot nerves, paranoia and psychosis were MacKenzie’s area of expertise. Yeah, right.
Unofficially, Daniel would see Janet if he had to, although he was still annoyed with her for assigning him to light duty–which meant he couldn’t, under any circumstances, pull any of his all-nighters. It pissed him off, because it was the only way he’d learned to handle sleepless nights.
Movement drew Daniel’s attention from his thoughts and he found Jack strolling slowly toward him, a guilty look on his face. Daniel glared at him, letting Jack think he was in trouble when the truth was, most of his pissed off mood could now be blamed on MacKenzie.
Jack opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Daniel immediately knew that Jack was censoring himself.
“Don’t,” Daniel warned.
“Walk on eggshells around me or I swear, Jack, you’ll find this crutch wedged so far up your ass–“
“Okay, okay, calm down. You just get back from the shrink?”
“Yeah, and a grand MRI awaits.”
“Well, first, let’s get to the gateroom. Carter and Teal’c are due back in a few minutes. Let’s go meet them.”
Daniel stared, pursing his lips, wondering if Jack had any other motive for asking. “Okay.” On their way there, Jack was silent, which annoyed Daniel further. As they entered the gateroom and stood before the ramp, he glanced at Jack. “I’m fine.”
“I believe you,” Jack said, giving him a long look before turning his attention on the gate.
Daniel didn’t believe him.
Rounding the corner out of the gateroom, Jack glanced at Sam’s sling-held arm. “What happened there?”
She made a quick grimace before her expression merged into modesty. “Ran into a super soldier.”
“Well, yeah. Got knocked across the room. Bit of a headache,” and she raised her arm, “and an arm ache.”
Jack grinned sympathetically. “And the super soldier?”
She gave Jack a swift grin. “Bra’tac took care of the problem.”
Twenty feet ahead of them, Bra’tac heard and looked over his shoulder, sending Sam a nod of acknowledgement. She nodded back and was about to say something else but noted that further ahead of Bra’tac and Teal’c, Daniel was already at the end of the hall, waiting for the elevator. She observed his body language, concerned.
“He said he’s fine, sir, but we know what that usually means.”
“Yeah.” Jack’s eyes were already on Daniel and they both watched as Bra’tac and Teal’c reached him, greeting him with warmth. Teal’c reached out and laid his hand on Daniel’s upper arm in an obvious attempt to soothe. Daniel’s mouth moved and both Jack and Sam knew what he said with having to hear him speak it: “I’m fine.” That phrase, from Daniel, was almost commonplace, and Jack knew that Teal’c and Bra’tac didn’t buy it any more than he and Sam did.
Once in the elevator, Daniel pressed the button for the infirmary. There was discussion about Sam’s mission, which Daniel only half-listened to, but he couldn’t help catching reference to some Goa’uld queen in a tank, which gave him a shiver down his back. When the talk turned to what happened with the Telchak device, Daniel was relieved that the elevator stopped just then. He started forward as the doors opened, but Jack caught his elbow, holding him up.
“Hey, where’re you going? We’re having lunch.”
“So have lunch. I’ll catch you later.”
“Jack, I can’t eat before an MRI, remember?”
“So tag along then.”
“I’d rather not hear Janet page me over the intercom, so I’ll take a rain check. I’ll have something when we get home, I promise.”
Without waiting for a response, he hobbled out of the elevator. The four remaining passengers exchanged glances once the door had closed.
“Clearly he is not as ‘fine’ as he would have us believe,” Bra’tac announced, the worry in his eyes apparent.
Jack agreed, saying nothing, and Teal’c caught the tension. “Other than the apparent injury, what has transpired with Daniel Jackson?”
After a heavy sigh, Jack looked from Teal’c, to Sam, to Bra’tac. “He was tortured.”
Sam’s face grimaced as she became upset. “Shit.”
“And I can’t say how because Daniel doesn’t want to talk about it yet. So…”
Bra’tac knew what he meant and both he and Teal’c nodded solemnly. “Is there anything we can do?” he asked.
Jack shook his head, then paused just as the elevator doors opened. “Yes, actually, there is. Behave normally. People already treat him as if he’s fragile and we can’t do that. It’s not what he needs.”
“Besides,” Sam added, “injured leg or not, he’d bludgeon us to death with his crutches.”
“Actually, he threatened to shove one up my ass,” Jack informed them, and Teal’c raised an eyebrow at him. “What? I didn’t do anything. I was just showing concern.”
“You had to have done something, O’Neill.”
Jack shrugged. “Okay, I may have forgotten to tell him about MacKenzie.”
Sam rolled her eyes as she leaned against the car wall. “Sir, are you looking to piss him off?”
Jack was suddenly indignant. “Yes, it’s what I live for.”
“I thought so,” Teal’c managed with a disapproving look.
“I’m kidding, Teal’c.”
“I do not believe you are, O’Neill.”
Jack started to argue, but wisely censored himself instead. Truth was, he did live for it. Sometimes. Occasionally. At home.
The next day, Daniel made his way to Sam’s lab, and became just a bit pissed off when he found Jack, Teal’c, and Bra’tac in there as well. They were standing around her, watching as she had Teal’c holding something while she talked about it, waving something in her own. The object in his hand looked like a mini-motherboard. The object in hers looked like a soldering iron.
Daniel didn’t pay much attention really. He was used to seeing those things, watching her fixing this or building that and took it for granted whenever walking into her lab. He nodded to them as he came to stand a few feet from the table, near Jack. His partner fixed his eyes on him, looking a bit worried. Silently, he asked Daniel if he was okay, and Daniel’s expression told him to stop asking.
Until Sam’s ‘soldering’ tool touched the circuit board and sparks of electricity flew in all directions.
Daniel jumped and stumbled backward, trying to escape the sparks, suddenly forgetting about the injury to his leg. All he saw at that moment were the connection leads of the jumper cables as they were pressed against the wet sponges placed just below his neck. The pain had been incredible.
“Daniel!” Sam yelled, but Jack was already kneeling on the floor, grabbing Daniel by the arm.
Daniel tried to shake him off, fists forming, but Jack shook him harder. “Daniel!”
Blinking back to reality, Daniel’s mouth dropped open and he found four very worried expressions, and though each pair of eyes held no pity, he felt anger. He forced himself to take a deep breath so he wouldn’t snap at them. He felt worse when he realized how badly he was shaking. Past experience told him that it would take several minutes for his body to remember that he was no longer in danger.
While Sam and Teal’c helped him to a stool, Daniel didn’t fail to notice that Jack moved to shut the door. At first he wondered why, but then realized that all he needed was more witnesses. When Jack returned to his side and squeezed his shoulder, Daniel gave him a sharp look, which melted when he saw the concern reflected in Jack’s eyes.
“What?” Jack asked.
“You’re welcome. You okay?”
“I will be.”
“You scared the crap out of me.”
“Wasn’t too great for me, either, Jack.”
“Yeah, I know. Want something?”
“To get the hell out of here.”
“We’re supposed to hang around here for a while but I’ll see what I can do.”
Bra’tac observed their interactive behavior and a slow smile spread across his face. He glanced at Teal’c, sharing the unspoken revelation. Teal’c bowed his head once, letting him know that he was already aware. When Jack looked over and saw the last bits of the silent exchange, he frowned.
Bra’tac ignored the question and asked one of his own, to Daniel. “What happened?”
Sam was handing Daniel a glass of water and he stared at it before drinking it down. “Don’t be concerned, Master Bra’tac. It was nothing,” he answered in the lightest tone he could muster.
With Bra’tac’s experience, there was no way Daniel could act his way through a dismissal. “I did not see what you would call, ‘nothing’,” Bra’tac told him, his fatherly voice emerging.
Jack tried not to become annoyed with Daniel for being evasive. He didn’t want to talk about it and that was fine, but he didn’t have to act as if none of them had a right to care.
“They only care,” Jack blurted out and Daniel snapped his head up. “It’s a reaction to what happened in Nicaragua,” Jack told the others without taking his eyes from Daniel’s. “Daniel, we get it. All of us have endured torture.” He paused. “All of us. But even so, we can respect your not wanting to talk about it, so we won’t press.” He looked up at the other three faces watching him in surprise. “Will we?” They hesitated, but each shook their head with reluctance. Jack then pointed at Sam’s experiment as he switched his focus back to her. “Can you explain what you were droning on about without all the special effects?”
Sam shot him a look of annoyance and gestured at the door. “I can save you the trouble of listening, sir.”
As they started to banter back and forth, Daniel abruptly stood as a feeling of deep panic hit him.
“Daniel?” Jack and Sam asked at the same time.
“I have to get out of here.”
His tone said he was deadly serious. And he was. He had to leave the mountain, breathe open air, as soon as possible. If he didn’t, he was very sure that he would start screaming in rage.
Jack roused, suddenly very aware that Daniel was gone from the bedroom. He felt the sheet and found it cold. Sighing, he rolled out of bed and went looking.
In the living room, he spied Daniel on the floor in front of the couch, arm propped over the left knee, drawn up against his chest. The injured leg lay flat out before him and his right hand was rubbing his thigh. It was still dark outside, and a glance at the clock by the door told Jack that it would be dawn soon. He moved over to Daniel’s left, easing himself down, relieved that it didn’t bother his own knees when he drew them up.
Daniel turned his head slightly, watching Jack settle. “What’re you doing up?” he asked. He couldn’t figure out why Jack would have hauled himself out of bed. Jack loved his sleep. Daniel wished he could say the same.
“I could ask you that,” Jack replied quietly. He reached across and tapped his fingers against the one’s Daniel had draped over his knee, glad that Daniel’s hand stretched out, open and receiving. “In pain?”
“Not too much.”
“Take your pills?”
“Jack, stop worrying.”
“I’m going to anyway.”
“I could also remind you that you can talk to me.”
“Daniel, you may not want to talk about it, but you’ll feel better.”
“That’s a little clichéd, isn’t it?”
“But true.” Daniel didn’t reply so Jack went on. “Besides, you’ll have to talk about it in your report.” Daniel cringed. “Yeah, I know, but you know the drill. Hammond will–“
“I’m not telling him everything.”
“Or the Pentagon.”
“They don’t need to know everything, Jack. I’ll tell them what went on, but I’m not detailing the torture Bill Lee and I suffered. I think…I think that saying it was electrical torture by means of a couple of batteries, a few wet sponges and a jumper cable is enough information for them to get the idea.”
Jack flinched and Daniel tightened the hold on his partner’s fingers as they twined through his own. He felt an odd calm as he was comforted by the touch. Daniel hadn’t thought that a simple touch would ease the shakes, but it did. He wanted more, almost craved it, like a habit, and he suddenly felt ashamed.
“Fair enough,” Jack eventually replied. “Details aren’t needed anyway, except in medical evaluations. Speaking of which…did it go okay with MacKenzie?”
Daniel made a derisive snort which made Jack grin. “It went as expected.”
“So nothing to say?”
“Nothing to tell really.”
“Try me.” Jack watched Daniel’s expression, trying to gauge just how much Daniel was willing to talk about. Jack could never tell and that was so annoying. Daniel could go on and on about some useless piece of writing but would clam up tight about his feelings. Well, the scary ones, anyway. The only time he ever seemed to open up was when Jack pushed. “Daniel, come on. I said I was sorry for not telling you.”
“And I’m sorry he’s such an asshole, but he’s also the only one they’re allowing you to talk to. Officially.”
“Unofficially, I’d rather talk to Janet. But personally, I’d rather just talk to you.”
Jack felt his heart warm to that and took Daniel’s hand in his until their palms were touching. “Except you’re not really talking to me. Have you even talked to Janet yet?”
“No.” Daniel expelled a heavy sigh and thought about what he would say, what he wouldn’t. This made him uncomfortable in the extreme. “I feel so stupid, Jack,” he suddenly confessed.
“For what?” Stupid?
“For reacting like I did in Sam’s lab.”
Jack squeezed his fingers, the tactile reminder seeming to calm Daniel’s mood. “It was normal.”
“Maybe. I still feel like shit about it. How long have I put up with that sort of–“
“Not like that, Daniel. You’ve never been tortured.”
“There was Naetu.”
“Yeah, but that was a mind whammy. This was physical.”
Daniel snorted again, this time at Jack’s amusing expression. “Mind whammy?”
Jack shrugged. “Brain drain?”
Daniel started to laugh through his nose, but the amusement didn’t last long. “No, it wasn’t like that. Have you ever been tortured like that?”
“The ol’ sizzle and fry?”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Yeah…the ol’ sizzle and fry.”
“No, but I think zat blasts are sort of related. That pain stick, though, that’s kind of close, isn’t it?”
Daniel thought hard about it and realized that those two things were indeed similar. “Yeah, kind of, but they’re not the same. The zat is closer in comparison, considering electrical fields generated but–“
“Don’t go into science geek mode at 4:30 in the morning.”
Daniel blinked, thinking rapidly over what he’d just said. “Was I?”
“Not yet. I stopped you in time.”
Daniel gave him a tiny smile as he looked down at their clasped hands. It should have been a pleasant smile, but it wasn’t.
“Well, thank god, you stopped me, Jack. Didn’t want you falling asleep while I bared my soul.”
Jack tensed when he realized he’d screwed up. Sometimes humor was appropriate, and sometimes it wasn’t. He brought Daniel’s hand to his chest and held it there. “I’m sorry. I thought I was being funny.”
“Perhaps you were,” Daniel relented. “I’m just feeling a bit out of it.”
Jack nodded in understanding. “So…the zat is similar but…?”
“Not the same. Batteries are far more…primitive.”
Jack tightened his hold without thinking and Daniel flinched. “Sorry.”
Their fingers loosened and Jack was relieved that Daniel wouldn’t let go. He was then surprised when Daniel relaxed against the couch and tilted his head to the side, resting it on Jack’s shoulder. Jack let himself relax, too, for the moment. He turned his head to smell Daniel’s hair, feel the softness of it against his face.
They didn’t say anything for several minutes. Jack’s thoughts raced, and chief amongst them was the desire to ask Daniel how it felt. It was an irrational curiosity, and one he’d never ask about. He didn’t want to know how much pain Daniel had gone through and he felt guilty. He thought that maybe he should know.
“I felt it everywhere,” Daniel suddenly said.
Jack entertained the brief panic that Daniel had somehow read his mind. Scary thought, though more for what Daniel would think then what Jack felt. “Shit,” was all he could say.
“I felt that electricity everywhere, but most especially in my extremities. All of them.”
Jack froze. “All?”
“I felt it through my dick.”
“Jesus,” Jack whispered, squeezing his eyes shut.
“And I had a stupid thought after it was over.”
Jack was astonished. What made Daniel think any thought would be stupid at that point?
“I wondered if my dick would still work.”
Jack couldn’t help it and he laughed, though it was very quiet. Guilt tried to excuse the inappropriately expressed humor. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Daniel told him. “I said it was a stupid thought.” He moved his head slightly and Jack suddenly needed to see his face. He lifted his head, hoping Daniel would raise his and look at him, but he didn’t.
“I don’t think it was stupid.”
“Can’t help but wonder.”
Which was Danielspeak for saying he was worried enough that he felt it had to be voiced out loud. Jack tugged at Daniel’s hand and finally, Daniel lifted his head. His eyes were bright and filled with far more worry than his voice intimated.
“What if…you know…it doesn’t work right?”
“Your dick?” Jack asked, because one could never be too sure what Daniel meant.
Daniel flinched and looked away. “Sounds stupid, I know.”
Jack tugged his hand again, forcing Daniel’s gaze to return. “It’s not stupid.” He searched his lover’s eyes and hesitated before asking. “Has something happened?”
Daniel glanced at him before looking away, staring at his crotch. “More along the lines of ‘not happened’. I’m usually up in the mornings.”
“Yeah, I know,” Jack replied.
“I wasn’t this morning. Or rather, yesterday morning.”
“That’s normal, Daniel. You had other things on your mind, like the pain in your leg and the stress of coming down off that mission. Not exactly a–“
“No, I mean, even when I’ve been in pain, Jack, I’ve almost always woken up hard. I used to think that was damned annoying.”
“Yeah, me, too. Especially when we’re on a mission.”
Daniel didn’t add anything so after a minute, Jack asked, “Have you, you know, tried to find out?”
Daniel looked up, trying to figure out what Jack meant but his normally quick mind didn’t catch the drift. “Find out…?”
“You know. Have you tried jerking off?”
Daniel shook his head, swallowing with difficulty. “I didn’t try, ’cause, you know, if it didn’t…” He finished his sentence with a shrug, letting out a huge sigh of frustration.
Instead of asking further, Jack brought their still-clasped hands to Daniel’s groin, rubbing lightly through the boxers.
Daniel’s body tensed as he closed his eyes and dropped his head back. Jack’s hand felt good, but…there was no reaction. Not even a twitch. “Fuck.”
“Hold on, Daniel. Let me try something,” Jack said, startling him for a moment as his voice spoke soothingly in Daniel’s ear.
“Jack, I don’t think that’s going to w–“
“Relax for me,” Jack said in his most calming voice, the one he used when he gave Daniel’s muscles a thorough massage. He placed Daniel’s hand on his stomach, then moved his own underneath the waistband. His touch was firm, and Daniel was immensely relieved that Jack knew better than to treat him gently. He didn’t want coddling. Especially now.
He was aware of the warmth spreading over his face and tried to stomp down on the blush that rose. It was embarrassing, what Jack was trying to do for him–though he was pretty sure there was a dual motive in there. Not that he’d evertell Jack that. It was one thing to think it, another to say it without it sounding like you were calling the person selfish. To force his blush away, Daniel decided to take the direct approach and he pushed his boxers down over his hips, groaning when his thigh muscle complained.
Jack stilled his hand. “Did I–“
“No, that was me. It’s just sore,” Daniel hurriedly replied, and for emphasis, gently wrapped his fingers around Jack’s wrist, the first two fingers lying over the back of his hand, guiding the movements. He hitched a breath as Jack slowly began to stroke, the thumb rubbing over the head on each upsweep.
“How’s that feel?” Jack asked.
Daniel opened his eyes just as he caught his breath a second time. “Good. And therein lies the problem. I can feel, Jack. It’s that there’s no reaction.”
Jack purposely slowed his hand, pulling up the shaft before releasing Daniel’s cock altogether. Daniel kept his hold on Jack’s wrist as his hand moved down to caress his balls and toy at his sphincter. Daniel bit his lip and gave Jack a warning look–which was wiped away by a sudden kiss, deep and bone penetrating, that pressed his head back into the cushions.
Daniel felt his limbs tingle, his knees go weak, and that familiar sensation deep in his belly. He moaned into Jack’s mouth, his tongue playing excitedly while Jack proceeded to work him into a frustrated frenzy.
“Damn it,” Daniel gasped as Jack broke away from the fifth deep kiss. “This is what I was afraid of.”
“How long’s it been since the torture?” Jack asked him in that you should know the answer tone Daniel hated.
“Two days,” Daniel sighed.
Jack nodded. And smiled.
“Is there something to smile about?”
“Yes indeed. You may not be hard, Daniel, but I felt movement.”
Daniel tried on a scowl but it didn’t quite take ’cause he really couldn’t be angry with Jack for trying. “Doesn’t mean anything.”
“Yeah, it does. And I’ll keep trying, coaxing the li’l feller back to life.”
Daniel burst out laughing, which was Jack’s aim.
Jack gave him a soft, brief kiss. “I know, but it made you laugh.”
“Yeah.” He reached over and placed his hand on Jack’s very obvious erection, his fingers beginning to caress and tease with obvious intent. “I may not be up for it, but you certainly are.”
“You have that effect on me,” Jack replied, slowly pushing Daniel’s hand away. “Not necessary. Not for a while.”
Daniel frowned at him, thinking that Jack had just lost his mind. “Are you serious? This may be permanent, Jack.”
“Bridge, crossing, et cetera.”
Daniel sighed. “What if I’m in the mood to simply give?”
Jack gave him another brief kiss. “Then I’m all for it, but not now. Your mind is not exactly on pleasing me, is it?”
Daniel made a growling noise. “I hate it when you’re right.”
“I know. It happens, though not as often as when you’re right.”
“Jack,” Daniel drawled in warning.
“Okay, okay, forget I said that.”
“Done. But there’s something else you’ve failed to try.”
“And that would be?”
“Sometimes watching you is a better turn on then having you touch me.” Daniel meant every word, but he’d also intended the words to make Jack blush and he failed amazingly well.
“Really?” Jack asked, a smug grin spreading over his face.
“Yes, really,” Daniel answered, blushing again, this time in excitement at the thought of Jack purposely jerking off for him.
“I think I’ll add that when we try this again tonight–“
“The more action you get, the better, in my considerable experience.”
“Which is considerable,” Daniel grinned.
“Don’t know what good this will do. You’ll get yourself worked up for nothing, since you won’t let me do anything for you.”
“Could be a new kink thing,” Jack smirked. “Let you get all frustrated while watching me jerk off.”
Daniel started to object but then…the thought of a slow burn did appeal to him. He cleared his throat. “And if I get back to normal–“
“When,” Jack corrected.
“When I get back to normal, I’ll definitely want repeat performances. It’s such a fucking turn-on.”
They stared at each other, their eyes seeming to examine, while Jack’s fingers lazily stroked Daniel’s unresponsive cock.
“I still think you trying to jerk me back to life is a waste of time,” Daniel persisted. “What if I’m not in the mood to let you try?”
Jack smiled, gave him another kiss, and when he pulled back, the smile had turned suspicious.
“Jack?” Daniel asked warily.
“You know, there’s one good thing about your injury.”
Daniel gave him a frown of confusion. “And just what would that be?”
Jack let go of his cock and slipped his arm around Daniel’s waist, holding his body against him. “You can’t get away.”
Daniel laughed and shook his head. “You’re very bad, Jack.”
“Which is why you love me.” He released his hold around Daniel’s waist and slipped his hand into his own shorts, his eyes still trained on Daniel’s face.
Daniel swallowed again, this time with heated interest. “Yeah, one of the reasons.” For the next several minutes, he watched, grew frustrated, but found himself curiously satisfied when Jack came over his fingers…and chest…and Daniel’s hip.
Three weeks later…
Still on light duty, and therefore restricted from driving, Daniel was dropped off at the house by the base’s Officer of the Day just after 10 p.m. Daniel had told Jack that he’d be staying a few hours longer and Jack hadn’t seemed too annoyed. Daniel now wished Jack had insisted on taking him home because he’d stayed longer than he had intended and was tired and cranky, having wasted his time on a translation that wasn’t giving up its secrets…yet.
Dropping his satchel on the kitchen table, Daniel set his cane down and shrugged off his coat. He hoped that Jack had gone to sleep, not wanting to spread his moodiness, but Daniel knew Jack, so he was pretty certain that Jack was probably reading if he wasn’t already asleep.
Daniel found him in bed, asleep as he’d guessed, a hard-bound book lying open, face down on his chest. He smiled at the view before him as he proceeded to get undressed and head for the bathroom. The shower wrap for his leg was no longer necessary and Daniel stepped carefully into the tub after having turned on the water.
The moment the hot water hit him, Daniel felt the tension begin to leave, though his headache remained. He let the water hit the back of his head and neck, tilting his head this way and that to assist in loosening up the knotted cords.
He was still frustrated with the translation, but that wasn’t the reason for his mood. It had been nearly three and half weeks since his ordeal in Central America. He was beyond frustrated. Jack had been patient–and hot as hell whenever he jerked off for him–but the last week was a record for Daniel keeping his temper in check.
Daniel lathered up the soap and slid his hands over his body, cleaning off the dust and sweat of the day. His right hand made its way to his cock, cleaning as he always did but with extra attention. He stroked and pulled a few times, hoping that this time would be the one. He’d been hopeful a week before. Jack had ruthlessly pinned him to the bed, proceeding to go down on him, driving him mad for half an hour. The result had been a thickened, half-grown cock, but it had been something.
Daniel smiled, remembering his half-hearted protests while Jack succeeded in getting him partially hard. Getting him aroused was not a problem. It was only being able to get his body to react.
He’d confessed his problem to Janet during week two. He’d had no choice as he’d snapped at one of her nurses, then apologized. She’d taken him into her office and hadn’t let him leave until he’d revealed the reason for his moodiness. She’d been surprised, having admitted that she’d been waiting for him to snap, only because of the Post-Traumatic Stress and not being able to work on active duty.
It was Janet, therefore, who’d suggested to Daniel that part or all of the problem could be that he had simply short-circuited. Retraining the muscles would hopefully work, and if it didn’t, she’d send him to a specialist. Daniel had wanted to reject the offer, but his fear overrode any embarrassment.
It was now going past week three and he was at the end of his patience. Tomorrow, he’d see Janet for the referral. He found it ironic and amusing if he ended up getting on Viagra first.
Daniel had been dozing for about ten minutes when Jack rolled over and pressed up against his back.
“Hey,” he greeted, his breath snuffling the back of Daniel’s ear.
“Hey,” Daniel replied and leaned back, feeling the growing erection against his ass. It didn’t actually mean anything, but Jack’s interest was both comforting and annoying.
Jack felt the tension in Daniel’s body and slowly moved away, pulling Daniel to lie on his back. “How was the translation?”
“Don’t ask,” Daniel scowled, not looking at him, then gave an apologetic look to make up for it. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Jack asked, his hand caressing Daniel’s bare chest, making the nipples peak.
Daniel brought his hand up, stilling Jack’s. “It’s not the translation.”
Jack studied Daniel for a moment, then said, “I know.”
“I’m…” Daniel began, wondering if he should tell Jack or do it first, then tell him. He decided that truth was better. “I’m gonna ask Janet for the referral.”
Jack nodded without answering as his eyes followed the trail of his hand. He traced the fine line of hair under Daniel’s navel before carding his fingers through the pubic hair. Despite Daniel’s current problem, he was still coming to bed unclothed, for which Jack was grateful.
He leaned forward and kissed Daniel’s chest, taking a nipple between his teeth.
When Jack looked up and gave Daniel that look, Daniel groaned. “Jack.”
“What?” Jack asked around the stiff nub. “Don’t want to try?”
“It’s not that but…”
Jack began to move down his body, using his tongue between bites that were just a bit too hard, making Daniel jump with pleasure. When Jack reached his cock and moved between his legs, Daniel was squirming.
He closed his eyes, one hand threading through Jack’s hair, the other gripping the bed sheet. Jack was aggressive this time, sucking hard, using his teeth, making Daniel’s body flinch almost constantly. The other times Jack had gone down on him, he had been more careful, not wanting Daniel to injure his leg or pull stitches whenever his body reacted to his attention.
But Daniel had received the go-ahead from Janet that morning for his scheduled physical therapy. Apparently, Jack took that as a sign, and now the gloves were off…so to speak.
Daniel didn’t mind, either, but he wished he could respond…
His breath caught as Jack’s tongue moved lower, his hands gently forcing Daniel’s legs up, still careful not to stretch the right thigh muscles too much. Daniel grabbed the back of his knees and lifted, holding himself open, groaning as Jack went to work on him. When his tongue entered him, Daniel’s eyes flew open, but not because of Jack’s wet caress.
His cock was responding.
“Jack,” he gasped, pushing up on his elbows. Jack looked up, his eyes on Daniel’s cock, and he smiled. Daniel groaned, giving Jack a half-hearted scowl. “You know, there’ll be no living with you after this, you smug bastard.”
Jack gave no answer. He just smiled even more before returning to the pleasurable task of probing Daniel’s hole, taking his balls into his mouth, watching as Daniel’s cock slowly filled. He was mostly hard, but not quite there yet, when Jack took his cock back into his mouth and fervently went into action, intent on making Daniel harder. A finger slid inside and found his gland just as he took his cock down his throat.
Daniel arched back, trying to say something but his sounds were garbled and unintelligible. His eyes widened in shock and surprise as he felt his balls tighten and that feeling approach. Frantically, he thrust up, encouraging Jack for more.
Jack pulled his mouth off and replaced it with his hand, jerking him hard and fast. Daniel tried to protest, but couldn’t find the words, not when Jack slicked his fingers with spit and shoved two of them inside. A thorough stretching, then Jack began to fuck him vigorously. Daniel couldn’t find the coherence to say anything, much less think it. All he could do was make desperate noises through his panting as he closed in on the first orgasm he’d had in three weeks.
“That’s it,” Jack said, his voice low and husky, seductive as hell. “Ride my hands,” he coaxed, twisting his fingers as best he could inside Daniel’s tight muscles while the fist around his cock stopped its motion. Daniel gripped the bed, knuckles white with strain, and planted his feet, lifting his hips off the bed. Thrusting up forced his cock through Jack’s fist and pulling back caught Jack’s fingers inside. Back and forth, back and forth, and he was moving faster than he ever had before, so desperate…
Daniel knew his cock wasn’t completely hard, but that didn’t matter any more. He knew he was going to come. He could feel it.
But Jack had plans. He withdrew his hands, his mouth abruptly over the head of Daniel’s cock, sucking hard, holding on as Daniel bucked from the intense pleasure. He stayed there, riding Daniel’s body as the man thrashed underneath him. When Jack felt that familiar shudder that always told him when Daniel was about to come, he moved quickly up his lover’s body and simply took his mouth, fucking him with his tongue.
Daniel pushed him away, whispering harshly against Jack’s lips, his eyes half-lidded. “Turn me over and fuck me. Now, Jack.”
Jack growled and did just that, intuitively answering Daniel’s need as well as his own. His actions were rough, guided by Daniel’s responsive moans. He rolled Daniel onto his stomach, placing a pillow under his hips, and grabbed for the tube he’d earlier set somewhere under his pillow.
As Jack laid over him, Daniel felt tremendous pleasure at the feel of his weight on top of him. He loved it, and loved the feel of Jack’s knees between his, pushing them apart as wide as his sore thigh would allow. When Jack pressed his lubed cock against his hole, Daniel couldn’t help but wonder when Jack had taken the time to prepare. He’d somehow missed that, having been distracted by the other sensations he’d missed and worried he’d never have again.
His thoughts were wiped from his mind when Jack pushed inside in one deep thrust and immediately began to grind against him. Daniel groaned, lifting his ass just as hands slid underneath him, fingers clamping down over his collarbones. Daniel felt more overwhelmed than before as Jack didn’t let the pleasure level out, but aimed for making it climb ever higher. He moved his cock in and out of him with a fast, hot friction, riding him hard, fucking him as he’d threatened. Or was that promised?
Either way, Daniel didn’t care. He loved being fucked this way, and because of what had happened, it was the only way he felt his body would have responded. Another pass over his gland and Daniel clutched at the sheet over his head, his fists nearly ripping the fabric.
“Love this, don’t you?”
“What do you want, Daniel?”
“Make me come,” he answered, breathless and thrumming. His hands now braced against the headboard, the entire bed rocking with the impact of each thrust into him.
“Yes, but what do you want?”
“God, Jack, make me scream!”
Daniel could feel Jack aiming to do just that, in the way he shifted his weight over him, in the way he grabbed Daniel’s hands and locked his fingers with his, and in the way he rubbed his prostate relentlessly. He drove Daniel mad with bites at the back of his neck, over his shoulders; the grunts in his ear combined with filthy suggestions.
The slapping sound of skin against skin nearly did make Daniel scream, but it was when Jack placed both their hands around his cock, stroking and pulling in time with the cock drilling his ass, that did it. A blinding pleasure forced his body rigid, come shooting across the sheet in thick streams. Daniel barely heard himself, but felt it somehow in his throat, now raw and sore. Somewhere inside, he wanted to be embarrassed, but simply couldn’t find the energy to care.
His muscles tightened, threatening to force Jack out of him, but Jack made a noise that was loud and rebellious. He slammed his cock deep, once, twice, thrice, and Daniel yelled with him as the hot semen rushed over his prostate. A few seconds later, Daniel was aware that he hadn’t been fully conscious, his mind drifting, and realized with embarrassment that he’d grayed out.
He listened to their rapid panting, the only sound in the darkened bedroom, as their bodies tried to come down from the highs. Daniel was overcome once more, this time with a different emotion. Love. He pushed up, forcing Jack to unceremoniously drop to the side.
“Shit, Daniel, warn a guy–“
He hadn’t had time to finish his protest before Daniel had him flat on his back, kissing him so hungrily that Jack was quite sure couldn’t tell what year it was. Or care, one way or the other. He lay there, open and his, letting Daniel have him.
When they broke apart, hours later it seemed like, Jack framed Daniel’s head in his hands, forcing him to pause and look at him before rolling off. “How’re you doin’?”
“I’m good,” Daniel said, his voice low, filled with satiation. “Leg aches a little, but it’s a good ache, and not even close to what I’ll be feeling tomorrow during physical therapy, and you know, that’s probably a good–“
Jack cut him off with another kiss, this one slow, sensuous, lazy. When Daniel eventually rolled off and onto his side, he repeated the question back to Jack. “How’re you doing?”
Jack gave him a sarcastic grin as he pulled Daniel from the bed and toward the shower. “I’m just fine, now that the plumbing’s fixed.”
Daniel shook his head, starting to chuckle. “I’m so glad, Jack.”
Around 2 a.m., Jack found out just how glad Daniel was.
Excerpt from Doctor Eugene MacKenzie’s Psychological Assessment of Doctor Daniel Jackson’s Nicaraguan Incident. Week Five of treatment:
“…although he is still unwilling to cooperate in giving me his thoughts about returning from the dead, I am confident that I can gain his trust. Doctor Jackson has been through something none of us have and it should be thoroughly documented.
“Regarding his current condition, Doctor Jackson has displayed a remarkable improvement in his emotional state, noted in the previous weeks of evaluation. He appears to be more forthcoming, though he does tend to speak rapidly about subjects that have no bearing on his therapy, and periodically displays an aloof behavior where clinical psychiatry is concerned. I am concerned and mystified as to the reasons for this change in behavior, but I am also confident that I will be able to discern the cause…”