A Perfect Day by Debi C
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Category: General
Genres: Challenge, Friendship, Vignette
Rated: Pre-Teen
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: What makes a perfect day? Jack realizes his mandatory requirements for a perfect day...his happy place.

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Author's Chapter Notes:
Bad language, Jackspeak, and possible HANKY WARNING!! And we have bare feet and toes.
There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The sun was beaming down on him and the glass smooth lake. Not a breath of air disturbed its surface with any ripples. The temperature was a balmy seventy-six degrees. If he listened real hard, he could hear a loon calling to its mate on the other side of the lake.

He was sitting on his dock at the lake by his cabin. He was wearing his fishing hat with all the lures on it, his good polarized fishing shades, a Denver Avalanche jersey, his favorite khaki cutoff shorts, and he was barefoot, having kicked off his sneakers earlier that morning. There was an empty coffee thermos, a half-full bottle of warm sports drink, some beef jerky, and an empty Oreos bag on the dock sitting by his bare feet. He had a brand new six-foot, medium- action, graphite rod in his hand with a Quantum Classic reel that held twenty-pound TUF-LINE made with something called Spectra filaments in it. He wasn't sure what that was, but Carter had nodded absently at him when he asked, so he supposed it was a good thing.

He'd been there since seven o'clock this morning, schlepping down to the old dock with all his stuff. It had been a bit cooler then, in the low sixties, but not enough to chill his dedication or his enthusiasm. After baiting his size four Kahle hook with a four-inch live minnow, he had affixed a five-inch-long, red-and-white, cork bobber to the line and tossed it out ten or so feet from the dock. The bobber hadn't moved on the smooth water's surface since then, except the small ripples that the minnow caused. No fish had even appeared interested. Oh, well.

He wondered why he'd never brought Daniel up here before he'd...left. He'd always thought his friend would like it. The man had always valued silence and natural beauty even if he didn't fish. The two of them had been able to just sit for hours together, appreciating their surroundings. But it was always one thing or another getting in the way...translations, appendix operations, funerals, Thor, missions, they had just never seemed to make it up here.

Teal'c had come on one occasion, much to the delight of the mosquitoes. Carter would turn him down on general principals just to work on her motorcycle. And he and George couldn't leave the SGC at the same time because of the chain of command thing, so he usually just came alone.

He just should have just tried harder with Daniel. But then the thing with that robot chick, what was her name? Oh, well, it sure didn't matter now, if it ever had. That had almost ended their friendship... he'd just about driven his best friend away with THAT little piece of military action. But, she'd left him little or no choice, and then Carter and George with that little self-destruct countdown of theirs hadn't helped either. He shook his head, sadly.

Then had come Kelowna, with that damned naquadria and a fucking bomb, and then, well it had just been too late. Too late for apologies, too late to make up, too late for their friendship, too late for Daniel; just too damned late for anything...but the suffering, and the tears, and the leaving.

He heard someone coming up the wooden walkway out to the end of the old dock and it shook him out of his musings. Bare feet sounded good on the old wooden planks, just soft thumps, no heavy bangs of leather or rubber soles.

The new arrival knelt down beside him, a warm hand settled on his shoulder, and a soft voice spoke, the breath light upon his cheek. "Wow, what a beautiful day."

"Yep," he replied, "a real nice day."

"You hungry for lunch?"

"I could eat. Whatcha got?"

"Cheese sandwiches, sour cream and chives potato chips, and some cold beer."

"Sounds good." He answered, smiling at his benefactor. His eyes met the happy ones that smiled back at him. "Sleep well?"

"Wonderful, no car noise, no radio or television, no phone calls."

"Yep, I turned that sucker off when we got here. George wants me, he's gonna have to send the Minnesota State Police out for me," he chuckled. "And I don't think they can find the place."

"It would surprise me if they could. It is pretty remote up here."

"That's one of the reasons I like it so much. Sometimes, I just say to myself 'Jack, go to your happy place' and I come up here." The two of them laughed and then just sat together in companionable silence.

His friend scooched down on the edge of the dock and slipped his bare feet into the lake. "Oh, wow, the water's really cold."

"Ya think? It's basically melted snow. Doesn't get warm until late in the afternoon." He looked across the lake.

After a few minutes, the other man gazed up at him steadily until he felt compelled to return the look. "Yes?"

"Thanks for asking me to come. I really appreciate it."

"I'm glad you could. I figured you needed a break from the every day excitement of the mountain. Klaxons and phones and alarms...."

"Oh, my!" They grinned at each other again, then the two men sat just looking at each other.

Jack lay his fishing rod down and reached for the sandwich and the bottle of beer. He took a drink of the cold Pabst Blue Ribbon and looked back over at the man sitting on the dock next to him. He sat the bottle down next to his lawn chair and tore his cheese sandwich in two, handing half of it to his companion. Then, with one bare foot, he nudged the bag of chips towards him.

As the other man nodded his thanks and reached for a handful of the chips, Jack looked at him and said simply. "Thank you, for coming back...to me. I really missed you."

"Thank you, Jack, for being there to help me. I really missed you."

Jack smiled at him, and ruffled the light brown hair. He was still a little in shock; still needing to touch occasionally to be sure he wasn't dreaming or imagining things. But the hair under his hand was soft, the skin smooth and warm to his fingertips, and the eyes were just as blue as he remembered. Daniel, his warm, alive, reincarnated, descended, returned, and really real best friend in the whole damned world smiled back at him. "Ya know something, Daniel. I was wrong, it's not a nice day, It's a Perfect Day."

the end.
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