From This Day Forward by Jude
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Category: Jack/Daniel
Genres: Alternate Universe, Romance
Rated: Teen
Warnings: None
Series: Bedtime Stories
Summary: Jack and Daniel make a commitment.

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Author's Chapter Notes:
Warnings: Warm smooshiness abounds.
"Jeez, it's one AM already," Daniel observed as they let themselves into Jack's house.

Jack chuckled as he turned to lock the door behind them.

Daniel flipped on the light in the hallway as Jack finished with the door and turned to face him. "Hey!" he said in surprise at the sudden darkness. The light had stayed on about two seconds.

Strong arms reached out to enfold him, leaving Daniel breathless as Jack's lips came down on his and an insistent tongue took possession of his mouth. He could taste beer on Jack's breath, as well as the familiar unique taste that was his lover's.

"Daniel." Jack's husky voice as he trailed kisses down over Daniel's face and onto his neck left Daniel trembling, a strong shiver of need coiling around in his stomach.

"You're drunk, Jack," Daniel laughed softly.

"Am not."

"Are, too. I had to drive home, remember?"

Jack growled into Daniel's shoulder, his hands clamped possessively onto Daniel's ass.

"Oooo, my chauffeur. Wanna go to bed, James?"

Daniel chuckled in spite of himself. "You always 'do' the chauffeur?"

"Nope. Never have." Jack squeezed Daniel's firm ass appreciatively. He tilted his head back, looking into Daniel's face in the semidarkness of the hallway, lit only by the streetlights. "But I just might start a new fantasy tonight. You look good enough to eat."

"C'mon, you," Daniel said, grabbing his hand and leading him down the hall towards their bedroom.

At the bedroom doorway, Daniel released his grip on Jack's hand and walked over to the bedside table. He snapped on the small light there, lighting up the room with a gentle glow. He glanced over at Jack, who was nonchalantly leaning into the door jamb with one shoulder, one hand shoved down in the pants pocket of his Class A uniform.

"Hey, handsome," Daniel breathed. And God, he was. He let his eyes rove over the bright shiny stars of rank on his epaulets, confetti and pilot's wings over his left breast, silver hair shining in the dim light, the smooth tanned skin of his face and deeply intense brown eyes. Daniel loved him, every part of him, inside and out, as corny as he knew that sounded.

Seeming to read his thoughts, Jack said, "I love you, you know," in a low voice. "All I wanted to do all evening, at Sam and Pete's wedding and then at the reception, was hold your hand, dance with you, kiss you." He shrugged with a little grin. "I hope someday-"

Daniel took a couple of steps away from the bed, shrugging out of the jacket of his navy blue suit. He dropped the jacket on a chair and went over to the CD player on the bureau.

He carded through the CD's, chose one, and loaded it into the machine. When the music started, he turned back to Jack and held out his arms. "You can dance with me now."

Never dropping his eyes from the intense blue gaze across the room, Jack slipped off his jacket and walked towards Daniel, dropping his coat on the bed on the way. As the romantic orchestral version of Gershwin's "Our Love is Here To Stay" poured over them, they wrapped their arms around each other, heads pressed close together. They began to sway to the music, turning in a small, slow circle.

As the song came to the final stanza, Daniel began to sing quietly in Jack's ear. "In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, they're only made of clay. But our love is here to stay."

Jack moved back and took Daniel by the shoulders, looking deep into his eyes. Leaning forward, he put a warm gentle kiss on his lips. "It sure is here to stay," he told him. He maneuvered his arm around Daniel and guided him to the bed. "Sit down," he said. "I've got something I want to ask you."

"Okay, but let's get these ties and shoes off first," Daniel told him. Daniel pulled off his tie, dropped it on the chair with his jacket, and then toed off his shoes. Unbuttoning the neck of his shirt and yanking his shirttails out, he stretched and then went to sit on the bed. He arranged a pillow against the headboard and then reclined against it, his long legs stretched out in front of him.

He watched as Jack also took off his tie and shoes, and then went to his bureau. He opened a drawer and drew something small out, which he put in his shirt pocket.

Jack came over and sat on the edge of the bed, next to Daniel's legs. He reached out and held Daniel's hand between both of his. "Sam looked beautiful tonight, didn't she?"

"Yeah, she and Pete make a nice couple. He looked pretty happy too, huh?"

Jack nodded with a smile. "So many changes in our old team. We'll have to play matchmaker for T now."

Daniel reached out to run his fingers down Jack's cheek, joy and peace warming him up inside. "Everybody should have what we have."

Jack raised his eyebrows and smirked at him. "Not possible. No one could be as happy as us."

"Getting sappy again, General?" Daniel teased with a smile.

"Oh, you don't know the half of it."

Daniel looked surprised. "No? I thought I did."

Jack shook his head. He drew out the object he had placed in his pocket earlier. It was a small black velvet box. "I have something I need to ask you," he said softly.

Daniel held his breath. He lifted his eyes from the box to Jack's face, holding the intense gaze of his lover.

"I was just wondering," Jack started. He lowered his chin, and played with the box in his hands, suddenly shy. He took a deep breath and dragged his eyes back up to Daniel's.

With a small smile, a chuckle rumbling deep in his chest, he spoke in a whisper. "God, this is hard."

Daniel reached to caress his cheek with the back of one hand, encouraging Jack with a look of love and reassurance.

Jack snapped open the box and showed Daniel the contents. Inside were two matching rings. They were platinum, with intertwined twin bands of yellow gold running along the outside. "If you could, would you marry me, Danny?"

There was a stunned silence between them for a moment. Jack couldn't believe he'd finally asked, after months of thinking about it.

Daniel was speechless, bordering on incredulous. He stared at Jack with wide eyes.

Jack rushed into the quiet, nervous, and dying to know what Daniel thought. He couldn't imagine what was going through Daniel's fine mind. "I mean, I love you. And I know you love me. This is what people do when they love each other. I know we can't do anything legal, like Sam and Pete did today, but we can say our vows, wear our rings on our down time, and commit to each other. Someday, when the Colorado legislature joins the 21st century, we could be legally married, if we want." He took Daniel's hand again. "But for now, will you do this? Wear my ring and make vows to me?"

Daniel took the velvet box from Jack's hand and studied the rings. He thought about his words. Love. Commitment. Vows. He looked at Jack's hopeful face and smiled at him.

"Yes," he breathed at Jack. "Let's do it. Why not?"

Jack took his head in both of his big hands and pulled Daniel into a deep kiss. With a laugh he drew back a bit so that they were nose to nose and looked him in the eye. "Now?"

Daniel sat back. "Sure. Now. Let's do it," he repeated.

Jack took the box back from him and pulled the rings out of their velvet beds. Setting the box aside, he scrutinized the rings, looking at the engravings inside the bands. "I had them engraved. I hope you like what I chose for them." He handed one ring to Daniel. "That one is mine. It says, 'Forever, Daniel' inside. Yours says 'Forever, Jack'."

Daniel smiled, playing with the ring in his palm, feeling the substantial weight of it.

"Perfect, Jack," he told him. "And you did good. The rings are wonderful."

Jack grabbed Daniel's left hand, holding his palm in his own, with Daniel's ring poised to be slipped on. He paused a minute, his eyes roving over Daniel's face as though he wanted to memorize his features. As they sat together on the bed, lit only by the soft glow from the small bedside lamp beside them, Jack felt cocooned in intimacy, joined with Daniel as never before. "I do love you, Daniel Jackson. I promise to always be your companion, your partner, and the one you can count on in good times and in bad. I give myself to you and commit to you and promise to love you forever, from this day forward."

He slipped the ring onto Daniel's finger and then lifted it to his lips. Daniel opened his hand, placing the palm on Jack's cheek, and Jack leaned into the caress, his eyes closed for a moment.

When Daniel withdrew his hand, Jack opened his eyes. Daniel took hold of Jack's left hand and looked down at the ring he held. His eyes filled with unshed tears and a lump formed in his throat. He swallowed and then looked into Jack's face with all the love he could muster. "I love you, too, Jack O'Neill. I want to be your partner, and I want you to be mine."

He looked down at the ring in his hand and decided to go ahead and slip it on Jack's finger. "We're just like this ring. A circle, never ending, with two bands woven together, separate but joined into one. I promise to love only you for the rest of my life. I'm so proud of you and look forward to the day when we can tell the whole world about us. Until then, this will be our secret, and I will carry it in my heart. From this day forward, Jack. Forever." He lifted Jack's hand to his lips and kissed his new ring.

Without a word, Jack stood beside the bed and drew Daniel up to stand beside him. They put their arms around each other and shared their first kiss as a married couple.

Drawing back, Daniel smiled into Jack's face. "I can't believe we just did this. You really surprised me this time."

Jack nodded with a little answering grin. He reached for Daniel's shirt and started unbuttoning it and Daniel began to mirror Jack's actions. They slowly undressed each other.

Once they were naked, Daniel drew down the sheets and blankets and slipped into their bed. He pushed over and made room for Jack to join him. Soon they were lying together, Jack's head just under Daniel's chin. Daniel lifted his left hand to look at the ring on his finger. "This just feels so right, doesn't it?"

Jack nodded against his neck, nuzzling his nose into his collarbone. "From this day forward," he whispered, tilting his head back to capture Daniel's lips with his own.

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