Warning klaxons blaring overhead, Daniel Jackson raced, panic-stricken, through the halls on Level 28, headed towards the gate room. As he turned the corner, on the final approach to his destination, he stopped short, nearly tumbling over the first of the bodies that littered his path. Gasping now more from shock than exertion, Daniel stared, mouth and eyes agape, at the carnage. He recognized some of the dead; others were nameless – all were victims sacrificed on the altar of his past.
Picking his way gingerly through the corpses, some of whom stared at him with harsh, accusing eyes, he bit his lip to stifle the cry of outrage he longed to let loose. The klaxons continued screaming, the sound becoming an obscene dirge for the poor souls lost in this conflict he alone should be fighting.
Nearing the entrance to the control room, Daniel pressed his back against the wall and adjusted his grip on the Beretta he clasped in stiff, sweaty hands. Sending up a silent prayer to a God he wasn’t sure he believed in, he turned and cautiously peered around the doorway. His guttural moan of despair was unheard, even by the friend he had just encountered on the stairs.
“I’m so sorry, Sam,” he whispered as he passed her lifeless form, stalking resolutely for the opened doors of the gate room.
Crossing the threshold, he raised his arms, bringing the gun to bear on the one who had waged this battle.
“Let him go,” Daniel growled, his eyes riveted to those of the willowy strawberry blond whose fingers were tangled in the silver strands of his lover’s hair. Jack O’Neill hung limply from her grasp, his dark eyes closed in fatigue or unconsciousness. He did not even stir at the sound of Daniel’s voice.
“You belong to me, Daniel,” Sarah Gardner sneered, tightening her grip on Jack. “But it seems that the only way you will accept that is if I eliminate my competition.” Snaking her free hand under her gold-tone diaphanous robe, Sarah reached behind her and produced a long, narrow dagger. The harsh lights of the gate room glittered off the blade creating incongruous splashes of sparkling beauty against the bleak concrete walls.
Before Daniel could react, Sarah yanked Jack’s head back and drew the dagger across his throat. The initial spurt of blood immediately ebbed into a steady flow of red, a rapidly increasing pool signifying the release of Jack’s life force.
“NO!” Daniel screamed. Falling to his knees, he dropped his gun and placed impotent hands against Jack’s neck, his fingers swiftly covered by the scarlet torrent.
Sarah let go her hold on Jack and stepped back, her lip curled self-satisfied at the near-lifeless body slumped cumbersomely against a despondent Daniel, whose tortured cry still echoed around the gate room.
“You are mine, Daniel,” Sarah jeered triumphantly.
Daniel shot upright in bed, instinctively reaching for his mate. His hands fell on the cold, empty sheets instead of warm flesh, and his quickly fading nightmare was instantly replaced by the reality of the previous night’s unpleasantness. Roughly scraping tears from his cheeks, he fell back into the pillows and rolled on his side, slapping bitterly at the bleating alarm on the floor beside his bed, which, in his dreams, had become the SGC klaxons.
He flopped onto his back. Draping a long arm over still-tired eyes, Daniel pulled in deep, shaky breaths and willed his rapidly beating heart to calm. Unbidden, the memory of Jack’s angry voice invaded his attempt at peace.
// “I can’t believe you’d answer a call from your former lover while your current lover – who, in case it slipped your mind, just fucked you soundly – is lying in your arms.”
Closing his eyes wearily, Daniel punched the cordless phone’s off button and replaced the handset back in the charging cradle. He tugged peevishly at the waistband of his boxers before turning to his lover.
“What am I supposed to do, Jack?” Returning to the bed, Daniel sat heavily, resting a hand on Jack’s bare hip, his gaze raking the older man’s still-firm midsection. “Sarah needs someone right now. It’s my fault she became host to Osiris in the first place.” He lifted pleading eyes, the tone of his voice likewise begging understanding. “How can I not help her get through the turmoil her life has become as a result?”
Patently disinclined to impart such understanding, Jack shoved roughly at his lover’s hand, remorselessly breaking the intimate contact, and rolled away from Daniel. Pulling himself into a sitting position, Jack snatched his sweatpants off the bottom corner of the bed, and taking advantage of his momentum, swung his legs over the opposite side.
“The Tok’ra say she’s fine, Daniel,” he spat, savagely thrusting first one leg and then the other into his sweats. “It’s been more than four months since they took the Goa’uld out of her head.”
Jack pushed himself to his feet, yanked his pants into place, and stomped around the bed, halting in front of the younger man. “In that time she’s had extensive psychotherapy, treatments with the Tok’ra memory device, the best medical care your tax dollars can buy …” Holding his fingers aloft, Jack lowered them in turn; one for each means of assistance Sarah had received.
“She needs a friend,” Daniel said simply.
“No, what she needs is to control you. Again.” Flapping his arms in exasperation, Jack turned and paced a few steps before whirling on Daniel, gesturing wildly. “Isn’t this the same woman you said was manipulative and hurtful? The same one who refused to be put off when you declined her suggestion of involvement then became sexually aggressive when you finally gave in?”
“That was a lifetime ago, and it has nothing to do with this.” Daniel tightened his lips in irritation, hating the defensive tone that always dominated his voice when they talked about Sarah.
“It has everything to do with this!” Jack barked, resuming his pacing. “Not three hours ago we sat on your back patio and enjoyed a romantic dinner while we watched the sun set. Then we retired to the bedroom where, I gotta tell ya, we made some of the best love I have ever experienced. But, the post coital glow hadn’t even dimmed when who should call but your old girlfriend.” He stopped in front of Daniel and raised his forefinger meaningfully. “And, may I add, not for the first time this week.”
“You make it sound like she knew we were in bed together.” Daniel stood quickly, his anger at Jack’s unreasonableness fading the instant Jack took an instinctive step backward. He dipped his head and cinched his eyes tight, rubbing at the ache blossoming between them. Sighing heavily, he straightened, determinedly meeting the older man’s cross gaze, his own beseeching.
“She’s been through a terrible ordeal, Jack, all because of her association with me.”
“Oh, yeah, I’ll bet she’s played that guilt card a couple of times, too, huh?”
Daniel stared, open-mouthed at his lover’s undisguised animosity, his eyes pinched dolefully.
Rigid expression softening at the younger man’s distressed mien, Jack reached out, clasping Daniel’s hands in his own. Sitting on the edge of the mattress, Jack pulled Daniel towards him, smiling sadly when his lover resisted briefly before finally taking a seat next to him.
“Listen,” Jack said calmly once Daniel was settled, “I’ve been doing some research, and …”
Daniel’s brows arched, wrinkling his forehead significantly. “You did research?”
“It’s not unheard of,” Jack returned, trying and not quite succeeding in keeping impatience out of the response. “I found some interesting stuff on what’s called ‘Obsessive Ex Syndrome’…”
“Jack,” Daniel drawled warningly. Pulling his hands out of Jack’s grasp, he folded his arms against his chest tight enough for his biceps to bulge.
“Daniel, just hear me out, okay?” Jack snapped, holding up a hand to forestall Daniel’s objections. Despite his lover’s nearly closed-off manner, Jack took a deep breath and pressed on.
“Now, from what I’ve read, I’m not sure if it’s an officially recognized disorder.” Jack rested his hand on Daniel’s arm when the younger man tightened his lips and shifted as if to rise. “But that doesn’t mean it’s not real.”
Gazing unwaveringly into the hard blue eyes locked to his, Jack reflexively licked his lips. “I think what we have here is a case of attachment obsession,” he said, pulling back slightly when Daniel’s eyes narrowed. “The Obsessor wants her partner back, wants things the way they were, or if that’s not possible she want to possess or control …”
Daniel relaxed his self-hug, shaking his head sorrowfully. Shoving away from the bed, he stumbled to his feet. “I’m not going to abandon her, Jack,” he bit over his shoulder. “I can’t believe you’d ask me to.”
His posture slumped in exhaustion, Jack closed his eyes. Rubbing his fingertips roughly over his forehead, he exhaled forcefully and stood, moving behind Daniel. Reaching out tentatively, he gripped the younger man’s shoulders.
“Hey,” he uttered softly, guiding Daniel against him.
Sighing tiredly, Daniel relaxed into his lover and Jack wound his arms around the well-muscled form.
“I know you can’t just abandon her,” Jack murmured next to Daniel’s ear, taking no pains to hide his discontented scowl. “How about … ask her to back off a little.”
Daniel covered Jack’s hands with his own, squeezing firmly. Leaning his head back on his lover’s strong shoulder, he turned his head to the side, nuzzling into the hollow beneath Jack’s jawline.
“Jack,” he breathed.
Both men stiffened, the phone’s clamorous hail bursting intrusively into the quiet of their hard won harmony. Waiting transfixed while Daniel’s recorded voice intoned the usual greeting, Jack loosened his hold, forcefully tugging his hands from Daniel’s grasp, as soon as he heard Sarah Gardner speak his lover’s name.
“Daniel,” the disembodied voice said, Sarah’s peculiar inflection giving undue emphasis to the first syllable.
“Don’t answer it,” Jack rasped.
“Daniel, please,” the voice begged desperately. “If you’re there, please pick up.”
Daniel took a step towards the phone.
“Don’t …” Jack pleaded as Daniel lifted the handset, looking away when Daniel turned apologetic eyes on him.
“Sarah, I’m here. Hold on a minute, okay?” Placing his hand firmly over the mouthpiece, Daniel looked sadly upon the intransigent figure standing before him.
“Maybe you should go,” he said.
“I don’t think that …”
“Jack, I don’t want to argue with you any more tonight. Just go, please. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Holding Daniel’s steady gaze for a moment, Jack bowed his head in resignation. He leaned over the bed and snagged his T-shirt, balling it tightly in his agitated hands. Taking two steps backward, he turned to leave as Daniel raised the phone to his ear.
“Sarah, I’m here,” Daniel said watching, his lover’s back recede until he turned the corner at the end of the hall and was gone. //
“Damn it!” Curling his fingers, Daniel angrily thumped his fist against his thigh. Blindly extending the hand, he caressed Jack’s pillow, wishing it were the grizzled head beneath his fingers, rather than the cotton pillowcase. He pulled the pillow toward him, lifted it, and placed it over his face, inhaling deeply of Jack’s unique scent – an odd combination of woodsy aftershave and dandruff shampoo. The corners of his lips turned up at the warmth the fragrance infused into his chilled heart.
But the contentment was short-lived, and Daniel flung the pillow away, kicked off the covers, and dragged himself into a sitting position. Sliding his legs over the side of the bed, he held his head in his hands, the migraine that had assailed him shortly after Jack’s departure still knocking against his forehead. He rubbed at the pain, nimble fingers digging harshly into his scalp.
Now that he was upright, his sinuses also complained. Knuckling an eye, he grimaced at the moisture adhering to his lashes then gingerly squeezed the bridge of his nose. Daniel did not easily give in to despair, but the dream had been so powerful, twanging nerves hyper-sensitized from his earlier confrontation with his lover. Increasing the pressure, he reminded himself why he hated crying; tears irritated sensitive sinus membranes, making them swollen and clogged.
Lifting his tee shirt, he slipped a few fingers under the waistband of his pajamas and scratched his hip. “God, what a night,” he moaned. ‘The fight with Jack was bad enough, but there were layers to that nightmare I really don’t want to uncover.’
Yet, like a tongue poking unrelentingly at a painful tooth, his mind insisted on ruminating over the events in his dream.
‘Sarah was dressed in the same gold outfit Osiris wore at the Goa’uld summit. But in the dream she was Sarah, I’m sure of it.’ Pressing his fingertips into his temples, Daniel shuddered. ‘Which makes it even more disturbing that she would kill Jack to possess me.’
Recalling Teal’c’s interest in dream interpretation, Daniel wondered what the Jaffa would have to say about this nightmare.
‘He’d probably tell me that the dream is a reflection of my fear of losing Jack because of this guilt-driven need I have to help Sarah.’ Shaking his head, he laughed bitterly. ‘But Teal’c doesn’t know the full history. It’s much more complicated than that.’
Closing his eyes against his discomfort and heart-sick weariness, Daniel snatched his glasses from beneath his pillow and, slipping them onto his face, dragged himself to his feet. Inhaling deeply through barely opened lips, he forced the air back out in a rushing whoosh, and stalked determinedly into the bathroom.
After emptying his bladder, he turned on the shower. Leaving the water to warm, he headed back out through the bedroom, his ultimate destination the kitchen.
Even through his congestion, the aroma of coffee tickled his senses as he stepped into the hallway. “Thank God for timers,” he muttered, grateful that he wouldn’t have to wait for his caffeine fix.
Plodding into the kitchen, Daniel went directly to the source of the enticing smell. Sliding his favorite oversized mug from its little niche on his counter, he filled it, and quickly gulped half the contents. He topped off the cup and ambled back to the bathroom.
Deliberately closing the door behind him to retain the heat and steam beneficial to his sinuses, Daniel unconsciously punched the lock with his thumb.
He shuffled to the sink, slurping more coffee before setting the mug down on the bathroom counter. Glancing apathetically in the mirror, he absently noted his pale, haggard features. He tugged the medicine cabinet open, snagged the bottle of Tylenol, and firmly pushed the cabinet closed.
Wresting the container open, Daniel dumped three pills into his palm and tossed them into his mouth. Awkwardly bending over the sink, he cupped one hand under the faucet, turning on the water with the other. He filled his mouth with the tepid liquid, swallowed convulsively, and shut off the tap. Leaning heavily on his elbows, he rested his forehead against his damp palm and groaned.
As Daniel came upright, a flash of bright light erupted behind him. Staring spellbound at the beam’s reflection, Daniel startled into action as the form of a tall, dark man, dressed entirely in black, coalesced out of the radiance.
Keeping his eyes on the figure in the mirror, Daniel reached for one of the long-necked, bluish-purple hued glass bottles of scented bath salts that Sam had given him for his last birthday. Wrapping a hand firmly around the container, he whirled and swung the bottle backward, striking it against the faux-marble counter.
“Just, stay right there,” Daniel cautioned, waving the broken end at the stranger, warding him off as he stepped gingerly through the indigo shards, making his way towards the door.
Sneering disdainfully, the man raised his left hand, displaying a ribbon device, the orange glow of the crystal accompanied by the familiar buzz-hum of activation.
Daniel slashed out and succeeded in wounding his adversary, sending tiny droplets of red to join the dark glass on the floor. Jarred loose by its impact with the exposed portion of the man’s palm, the bottle tumbled downward, shattering explosively.
Now defenseless, Daniel turned, heedless of the potential damage to his feet, and ran towards the door.
Growling savagely, the stranger reached out. Curling his hand around Daniel’s shoulder, he effortlessly tossed the archaeologist against the tiled wall.
As his body impacted the unforgiving surface, Daniel’s head smacked with a sickening thud. He was unconscious before he hit the floor. His glasses, shattered and twisted from the concussive force, slid along the wall, their forward motion halted by the padded doorstop imbedded in the floor.
The stranger glided over to his victim, a smug grin adorning his face. Looking contemptuously down his nose at Daniel’s unconscious frame, he bent regally and roughly prodded the shoulder nearest him, then fingered the sleeve of Daniel’s tee shirt.
Standing tall again, the intruder raised his be-ribboned hand and pressed the opposite palm against a button imbedded in the top of the device. A bright light built seemingly from within the man’s body, becoming blindingly bright before it shot skyward, taking the man with it.
Seconds later, Daniel was enveloped in a similar light, and when it disappeared, Daniel was gone.
|Category:||Jack/Daniel, Daniel/Other Male|
|Genres:||Angst, Dark, Drama, Established Relationship, Hurt/Comfort|
|Warnings:||Adult Themes, BDSM -- Bondage, Kink, etc., Non-Consensual Sex Acts, Sexual Situations, Violence|
|Summary:||Daniel's ties to the past jeopardize his and Jack's future.|
I could never have finished this fic without the help of some pretty wonderful friends. Thank you, Ann for agreeing to preview the fic for me. Thanks, Rowan, for your invaluable assistance with the medical bits. And a HUGE Thank You to Snarky, my tireless alpha/beta, who tolerated rewrite after rewrite and cheered her little heart out throughout the entire process. I'll miss you, kid. I must thank my friend, Cimmie, also, for creating a beautiful wall for this fic. You can find it here: http://carlyn.fotopic.net/c1530797.html