1. The first time happened while Daniel was still living at Jack's after his return from Abydos. Jack could see Daniel slowly unraveling as the days dragged on and it became horrifically obvious that the universe was a far vaster haystack than anyone could truly comprehend and humans made for very small needles. Oh, Daniel did his job and did it well, but stress was taking its toll. He wasn't eating, sleeping even less and living on caffeine and adrenaline. The worst was the haunted look that crept into his eyes when Daniel didn't think anyone was watching. Jack had seen men break with less provocation and he owed Daniel too much to let it happen to him. So, Jack did what he did best.
Daniel's mind was spending huge amounts of energy winding itself into knots, so Jack redirected it, like manipulating the flaps on a plane. A little push here and a prod there and with the flick of the tv remote, Daniel was in Jack's face cursing him until the worst of his anger and pain burned itself out. Jack had actually flinched a couple of times, sure it was going to get physical, but Daniel never touched him, at least not until Jack had to catch him when Daniel's knees gave out when the adrenaline crash caught up with him. They settled side by side on the coffee table while Daniel pulled himself together. When Jack handed him the remote control Daniel stared at it like it was one of his artifacts. When a smile started tugging at the corner of Daniel's mouth, Jack grew hopeful and when the first chuckle emerged, he knew he'd done it. Oh, the problem wasn't resolved, but enough pressure had been released to forestall an explosion. The night would bring more laughter, as well as its share of tears, but it was a start.
2. It had been a stupid argument. The kind of argument that, in a marriage, could end in wild make up sex or blood spattered on the ceiling in every room in the house. As usual, the underlying issues merely fueled the anger without ever making it into the words. Jack accused Daniel of having his head up his ass and not ever grasping that the point of the project was to keep everyone on Earth from being killed. Daniel accused Jack of being straitjacketed into the rigid military mindset and unable to see that there might be other, better options, but those options were worthless if the SGC kills everyone they came in contact with.
It went downhill from there.
Unspoken was the pain and helplessness they both felt for the lost members of SG-7 and the decimated village on PX2-339. Jack couldn't shake the look in Olsen's eyes as he died in Jack's arms and Daniel still heard the screams of the children trapped in that burning hut.
Their bitter argument lasted throughout the night and sparked whenever they met in the halls in the SGC. Neither considered going home, both realizing it was better to be together, fighting each other, than alone fighting their respective nightmares.
The following morning, the general found them sitting quietly at a table in the mess hall. He'd been dreading what he'd find this morning (he hadn't gone home, either). Oh, he'd trusted it wouldn't end up getting physical but he couldn't deny feeling relieved when there were no visible bruises or apparent broken bones. Had they still been going at each other, he would have been forced to call them on it, but instead he just ignored them and went back to his office to finish writing the letters to the families of the dead.
3. They'd argued for real enough by this time that when they needed an argument on P3Y-830, it was easy, more or less. Daniel was, naturally, the first to realize that the aggressive attitudes they'd been encountering since entering the village didn't mean what they seemed. His teammates had closed ranks against what they thought were dangerous people... which was absolutely the wrong thing to do, and could have been a self-fulfilling prophesy. The more SG-1 worked in silent accord, the more real the anger underlying the words and actions of the locals became.
"Jack?" Daniel tried to think of a way to let his team leader in on what was going on.
"Daniel? Maybe we should leave the nice angry people alone before we become the main course." Jack had his weapon still pointed down, but Daniel could tell his trigger finger was getting itchy.
"Jack! Why do you automatically assume they're cannibals? You always do that!" Daniel turned his back to the apparent leader of the village and tried to signal to Jack with his facial expressions. He was very glad he was the only one with a video camera and that it was still in his pack. He figured he looked like an idiot, but if Jack got the message that something was up, it would be worth it. Maybe.
"Um, Daniel? You feeling okay?" Jack glanced back and forth between Daniel's facial gymnastics and the angry sounding locals holding many long pointy weapons.
"Oh, right! Now it's my fault?" Daniel was starting to worry that he'd never get through to Jack. It had taken until they'd gotten into the village for all the pieces to fall into place and for him to recognize the social cues for what they were. SG-1 had to get it right and get it right now or risk being seen as dangerous and untrustworthy.
"Carter, when we get back, remind me to have the doc check and see if Daniel's had all his shots." Daniel felt himself blinking reflexively then had to catch himself to keep from grinning. Jack got it.
And so they argued. They covered college football (waste of academic money or financial boon); the designated hitter rule in baseball (that didn't last as both of them thought it stupid); Romantic composers (they left that one quickly since their ongoing Verdi vs. Sibelius debate often came to blows at the best of times); spaghetti sauce (sweet vs. spicy). As they were starting to wind up for the climax to the ever-popular car vs. truck debate, the locals finally relaxed, lowered their weapons and started clapping the members of SG-1 on the back and laughing happily to have met such fine new friends.
During a break in the festivities that followed (nice, if weird, people, great food, no naquadah), Daniel explained that some cultures judge relationships not by how polite people are to each other, but by how hard they argue. The idea being that only people who truly love and trust each other can open up to each other enough to argue without killing each other. Standard SGC diplomatic first contact behavior, on the other hand, would come across as deceitful and untrustworthy. For if members of a team don't trust each other enough to fight openly, how can a stranger trust them?
4. Daniel stormed into Jack's office and slammed the door shut behind him. He planted his hands on Jack's desk and leaned into the other man's space.
"What the hell was that all about?" Daniel felt like he might burst into flame at any moment. This is what a volcano feels like before it erupts. At the thought, he slammed one hand down on the desk and stood up straight to tower over his seated friend. These days, he outweighed Jack and while Jack could still beat him in hand to hand, the day was coming when Daniel's experience and greater bulk would meet Jack's aging joints and slighter frame and come out the winner. Daniel tried not to think about the little rush he got from knowing he could easily be physically intimidating these days. He didn't care for what it said about who he'd become.
"Why Daniel, I never would have expected you come see me." Jack sat, too still, in his chair; a frigid glacier facing off against Daniel's blazing inferno.
"Cut the crap, Jack!" Daniel braced himself on the desk again and leaned into Jack's space. "We left those people to die out there! They have no weapons, no experience and we just left." He kept his hands flat against the cool wood because he wasn't sure he could keep from punching Jack if his hands weren't otherwise occupied.
"What would you have us do, Daniel? Set up a base on PX9-301?" Jack leaned forward, taking back some of the territory Daniel had invaded.
"We have to do something!" Daniel glared at Jack, not giving an inch. The ships that arrived and began to strafe the population weren't any design SGC personnel were familiar with. The locals were agrarian and had barely been able to accept SG-1's arrival through the gate. As far as he was concerned, it was up to them to help.
"Oh, I know," Jack held up a finger when Daniel looked like he was going to interrupt. "We could pattern it after Iraq because that's worked so well. How does that sound? Halliburton probably has some mercenaries they haven't committed. We could sub-contract."
"What are you talking about?" Daniel glared at Jack over the desk as the other man finally stood up.
"Oh, that's right. We already have civilian contractors," Jack poked Daniel in the chest, just a touch harder than necessary, "out there fighting our battles, don't we, Daniel."
Daniel felt the blood rush from his face. Jack stepped around the end of his desk and crowded into Daniel's personal space.
"Do you hear yourself, Daniel?" Jack's quiet tone was more chilling than his shout; his eyes dark and hard and dangerous. "You want to give them weapons? You want to fight them? Who are you wanting to kill? What do they look like? What do they call themselves, Daniel? What language do they speak?"
Each question was delivered with laser-like precision and each one cut him and cauterized the wounds leaving searing pain their wake. When he'd challenged Jack, he'd been so sure he was right and now, now as the implications of Jack's comments sank in, Daniel closed his eyes and concentrated on getting his still roiling emotions under control. The added embarrassment was a small distraction. Bit by bit he started tracing the source of what he'd been thinking and feeling; trying to come to terms with how he got to the point that brought him to rail at Jack demanding military action for a doomed battle.
Daniel opened his eyes at the light touch on his chin. "Daniel?" No longer cold and forbidding, Jack looked more tired and sad than anything else. "Look at you." Daniel suppressed a flinch at the memory Jack's words evoked. That dark storeroom featured in too many of Daniel's nightmares. "When did you become me?"
5. Daniel's fist connected solidly with Jack's chin. He was too angry and hurt for the pain in his hand to register.
"Son of a bitch!" Daniel stood amid the packed, and half-packed boxes in Jack's living room glaring down at his friend who lay sprawled on the floor. "When were you planning on telling me?" He wished Jack would get up because he really wanted to hit him again. "Gonna wait until the next time a wormhole opened to Atlantis and send me an email? Or maybe just let me drive over here when I got back and find the locks changed and someone else living in your house? If I hadn't seen that memo today while I was packing, I still wouldn't know." Daniel paused to catch his breath before continuing. "Get up!"
"I don't think so, Daniel." Jack rubbed his chin and worked his jaw from side to side as if testing to make sure it wasn't broken.
"Why the hell not?" He couldn't believe Jack would do this to him. The little voice in the back of his mind piped up and suggested he follow through on that thought, but Daniel was too pissed to listen to reason, even when it was coming from him.
"Because you'll hit me again and I gotta tell you, Daniel, you've got a hell of a right cross. I think I'm safer down here for the moment." It finally registered that Jack was far too calm in this situation. The pain receptors in his hand took that moment to make themselves known and as Daniel flexed his fingers he tried to calm down. Now that the initial rush of emotion was over, Daniel felt himself flush with embarrassment.
"Um, no. No, I won't." He held out his left hand to Jack, to help him up. Jack hesitated, then took it, standing with a stifled grunt. "I wanted to, but I got over it."
Jack waved him over to the sofa and headed on to the kitchen. "Glad to hear it."
"It could have been worse, Jack." Daniel sat and tried to hang onto the moment of calm. He was still hurt that Jack was apparently leaving without having said anything to him, but at least he wasn't planning on decking him again any time soon.
"And how could it have been worse." Jack came back into the living room and handed Daniel an open beer before settling onto the sofa with his.
"I could have shot you."
"You're never going to let me live that down, are you."
"Hadn't planned to, no." Jack offered his beer and Daniel tapped it lightly with his own, a silent toast to their shared past.
"It was supposed to be a surprise." Jack looked around the room and Daniel could almost see him mentally organizing stuff into boxes.
"What do you mean 'supposed to'. It is a surprise, Jack. Just not a particularly nice one." Daniel began picking at the label on his beer bottle.
"That's not what I meant." Jack sighed and ran his hand roughly through his hair. "I'm not very good at this stuff." Daniel refrained from reminding him of the last time Jack had said something along those lines, but it didn't keep it from echoing painfully through his mind.
"And it looks like I'm still screwing it up." Jack scooted over to sit closer to Daniel. He set his own beer in one of the few clear spots on the coffee table before taking Daniel's and setting it next to it.
"Look, the timing got all screwed up. You were supposed to already be in Atlantis before this went through and I'd've already gotten us settled in D.C. by the time you got back. But Hammond's doctor insisted he retire earlier and the Daedalus was delayed..." Jack shrugged.
Daniel's head was spinning. He wasn't really sure he'd gotten everything Jack had said. He was still trying to work through the "gotten us settled" portion.
"So, you're not leaving without telling me, you're just leaving without telling me." Daniel reviewed what he'd said and decided it was as clear as it was going to get.
"Right!" Jack smiled in relief. "So, we good?" Daniel held up one finger and continued ordering his thoughts before replying.
"First, I need you to go back to the 'us in D.C.' bit. Did you mean what it sounds like you mean?"
"We'd talked about getting a place together once I retired and I figure the Homeworld Security job is probably going to be my last on active duty, and your stuff is all in storage since you sold your house, so why not just take it with me and I'd get us a place big enough for both of us."
Daniel leaned over and kissed Jack lightly where he'd hit him. "I'm sorry I hit you." Daniel generally prided himself on being even-tempered and level-headed, but when his temper did get the best of him, he went at it like he went at everything else in life; he put his all into it. Jack brought Daniel's bruised hand to his lips and returned the kiss.
"I'm sorry I screwed up the logistics of all this. I'd planned on telling you myself if things went FUBAR. The last thing I wanted was for you to find out from a memo. Walter was supposed to keep that from happening."
"Walter's on leave."
"Damn. The planet's doomed."
Daniel chuckled and leaned back against the sofa, suddenly worn out. He could run on intellect for weeks at a time, but emotional storms wore him out.
"So, when will the movers be here?" Daniel reached over and took Jack's hand, lacing their fingers together.
"Day after tomorrow."
"Yeah, it sucks."
"Sounds like we should make the most of the next couple of days then, doesn't it?" Daniel raised their joined hands and gently sucked one of Jack's fingers into his mouth.
"Why, yes, I think that's an excellent idea, Daniel. Though, I'm afraid my jaw hurts too much for it to be of much use." Daniel laughed at Jack's overly dramatic sigh as he stood up and tugged his lover up next to him.
"C'mon Jack, you're not fooling anyone. You'll use any excuse to be able to just lay there and have me do all the work." Daniel wrapped his arm around Jack's waist and pulled him down the hallway to the bedroom.
"It's just because you give such good back rubs."
"Right. Back rubs. I believe you, really, I do. Wonder if Teal'c would like a back rub?"
"He better not." Jack growled and then slammed the bedroom door behind them.
Four Times (not including alien influence) Jack and Daniel Almost Came to Blows, and One Time They Did. by tejas[Reviews - 3]
|Genres:||Angst, Established Relationship, Friendship, Humor, Missing Scene/Episode-Related|
|Summary:||A Livejournal 5 Things entry. Starts just post-CotG and runs through Jack's departure for D.C.|