Daniel whistled softly to himself as he made his way up the stairs. He hadn 't bothered with the elevator; it was all the way around the front and through the main entrance. His parking spot in the garage had been open, for a change, and the back stairwell was far closer to both the garage and the side of the building his particular loft was on. He could manage a couple of flights of steps. After all, he was used to hiking how many miles across other planets on a weekly basis? This was nothing in comparison. He was a bit tired from this particular workweek but had no actual injuries beyond a single hangnail, which he had to admit was a pleasant change of pace, and a full weekend off to recover from that atrocity.
He pushed open the door and came to a dead stop at the sight before him. What the hell was he doing here? There was no way possible this could be happening. Worlds were colliding, and not in a good way. Maybe he didn't see him? He could just turn around and sneak back down the steps, go back outside, get some coffee, run away, something, anything to not have to deal with this right now.
He turned on his heel and reached for the handle to the door and to his apparent salvation. His oddly trembling hand touched the cool metal just as he heard the ever-so-familiar-no-matter-how-many-times-he-tried-to-forget-it voice ask, "Daniel, is that you?" He hesitated, debating not answering, pretending he did not hear the only other person on the floor calling out to him. "It is, isn't it? Man, I've finally found you! Get your butt over here before I come tackle you and greet you properly!"
He knew the hesitation gave him away. He had paused too long, been too obvious about it. Ever so slowly, he turned back around, closing his eyes as he did so, hoping his visitor had somehow disappeared into the ether. When he opened them again and saw the 6'2", 210-pound dark-haired man still before him, he knew that, once again, he had no such luck. "Gerald," he called back as calmly as possible, hoping the other man did not hear the pounding that was sounding so clearly in his own ears. He briefly wondered if it was his heart, or the last of his courage beating a hasty retreat. "What are you doing here?" he asked dryly. He left out the 'hell' part, figuring it would be rude.
"Doctor Daniel Jackson, did you know you are a very difficult man to find these days?" the other man began, completely ignoring anything Daniel had to say. Not that Daniel was particularly surprised. Gerald always did have little patience for anything that stood in the way of his goal, especially pesky little things like words.
The linguist opened his mouth to reply, but closed it and simply shrugged, knowing any reply would simply be pushed aside or trampled over.
As expected, Gerald continued his monologue. "It feels like I've been looking for you for ages. I heard about that disaster lecture of yours what was it, like, five years ago now, and wanted to come and show you my personal support. I looked everywhere for you, but you just up and disappeared."
Again, Daniel just shrugged.
"I even went and talked to some of those dusty 'colleagues' of yours," his visitor said, even using his fingers to indicate the quotation marks in case he didn't understand his views on the matter.
"I can't believe I ever thought of joining their ranks, you know? Anyway, there was apparently a rumor that someone sent something to you a few years back, an ever-important find from South America or something. They said the military was involved. I laughed, of course, because what would you ever have to do with the military, right? Still, I checked up on it and was told they would not confirm or deny anything."
Yep, that was Gerald, dumb as bricks. Instead of taking that as a yes, he must have taken it as a no. On the up side, it had held off this confrontation for quite some time. Speaking of time, Daniel was beginning to wonder how long it would take the man to get to his point.
He appeared to finally be getting around to it. "So I looked a bit more, you know? Off and on, anytime anything came up that you might be interested in. Then I read in the paper some professor at that school of yours died and there was this whole big hub-bub afterwards."
Daniel sighed. Professor Jordan and Chicago, of course that's where he figured it out. And, of course, Gerald would condense "international incident involving murder, attempted murder, and a suddenly missing temple" to the words "big hub-bub." Idiot.
"So I go around and ask some more questions and find out that you stopped by and everything. By the time I got there, you were gone though and nobody had any idea where."
The larger man was now pacing the width of the hallway, effectively blocking Daniel's entry into his own apartment. The erratic gait he saw hinted at something more than nervousness fueling the motion. The thought of turning around and running back to the garage was tempting, but he had a feeling he would never get away with it. He was too close, the few yards between his apartment and the stairway door not far enough to gain any headway, especially considering how the handle usually caught at the most inopportune times. He had a sinking feeling this would be one of those times. Then there was the was the whole point that if Ger had looked for him for this long, a little thing like a quick chase probably wouldn't stand in his way, and Daniel honestly wasn't sure if he could outrun him. Though he had knew he was in fine physical condition himself, he also knew he had size and fear working against him right now. Besides, maybe he was wrong, maybe Gerald honestly was just a concerned friend checking up on him to make sure he was okay. Time changed people. It certainly had changed him, so why not Gerald?
He stood his ground instead, listening to the other man ramble. "But then Steven reappears after getting the snot beat out of him and mentions something about you and the military. A little more fishing for info and I' m back where I started, the middle of nowhere with you apparently consulting for some Air Force base. I have to admit I doubted it because, come on, what would the Air Force want with you? But it was as good of a lead as any and here I am and here you are and here we be." He finished and leaned against the far wall, crossing his arms in front of him as he smiled lazily. He oozed confidence, and rightfully so as he usually ended up getting his way, one way or another.
"What are you doing here?" Daniel repeated, fingering the keys in his pocket. He hoped with the little performance over Gerald might actually answer the question this time.
"Looking for you, of course."
Gerald shrugged. "I thought we might get together and reminisce," he grinned.
Daniel had a feeling he knew exactly what kind of reminiscing the other man wanted to do based on the tone he had used, and rather preferred not to right now. "I'm a bit busy, but why don't we see if we can't get together later?" he brushed him off, walking quickly past him and sliding his key into the lock.
The lock clicked open, and then it came. Daniel felt his head smashed into the doorjamb and his free arm twisted behind his back. "I don't want later, I want now," Gerald hissed into his ear, pressing his full weight against him.
Daniel was yanked briefly backwards, his second arm joining the first in a rather painful hold. He struggled, but to no avail. He briefly wondered if Gerald really was that good of an opponent, or if some small sliver of fear from all those years ago was still hiding in the corners of his mind. Given that he trained regularly with Teal'c and the Marines, the logical part of his mind told him it had to be the fear. The various memories chose that moment to assault him, forcing him to swallow down the taste of bile that had risen in his throat.
He saw his door open before him and he was roughly pushed inside. It was dark except for the light from the hallway, apparently just enough to locate the light switch. The room burst into life as the door slammed ominously behind him. He heard a muffled thud and briefly remembered the beat up old backpack that had been leaning against the wall. Of course he would never go anywhere without that.
One hand on his arm released for just a moment but, despite his attempts, not long enough for him to free himself from the position he was in before something thin and decidedly plastic was wrapped around his wrists and pulled tight. His hands now thoroughly bound, the weight eased up a fraction, just enough for him to take a deep breath and fill his lungs with precious air once more. "Oh yeah, and scream and I'll be forced to slice that pretty little throat of yours, among other things," Gerald's voice sounded in his ear. The sound of something clearly metallic being removed from what he guessed was a leather sheath accentuated the words even as he felt a warm tongue slide across the nape of his neck. He shivered in revulsion and felt cool metal against his warm skin for his efforts.
"Now," Gerald growled, still not releasing his hold as his captive was pushed further into the room. "Let's reminisce."
Jack fought the urge to hum as he waited for the elevator. Military officers did not hum, no matter how happy they may be. Well, some did, but he didn't and that's all that mattered.
He stepped into the metallic box and let the doors close behind him. Selecting the desired button, he felt the little shake that indicated he was on his way to his destination. The elevator was not exactly state-of-the-art like most things in his life, and took a time to reach the desired floor. He spent the time thinking about his absent-minded archeologist that had not yet returned his call nor was he waiting for him in the lobby as expected. He said 'archeologist' as that was the man's profession and apparent enthusiasm in life - he liked old things. He said 'absent-minded' as he was certain some mundane little thing had caught his attention once again, causing him to lose track of time as he searched for the meaning of life in this infinite universe. He said 'his' as Danny was just that, body, heart, and soul.
A soft dinging sound indicated he had reached the correct floor. He stepped out into the well-lit hallway and instantly his mood darkened. Something was not right; his internal alarms for lack of a better description were going off like he couldn't believe. He searched for the source of the sensation and found he did not have far to look. Near the end of the hallway, glinting in the light from the numerous wall sconces, were Daniel's keys. He instantly recognized the woven leather key chain with the little silver bell added to the ring from the time his team had made good on their word to get the man a bell so they always knew where he was.
He quickened his steps as he neared the door, looking for anything else out of the ordinary. Daniel may be absent-minded at times but even he knew basic safety, you had to in this job, and never left his keys laying around anywhere for more than a minute before going back to retrieve them if they fell. Being that the other man should have been home for a couple of hours now, Jack was not liking the implications. The small edge of plastic coiling poking out from beneath the wooden door did nothing to change his mind on that matter.
He pressed his ear up against the door for a moment, listening for signs that, at the very least, Daniel was still home. He heard the arrhythmic reverberation of boots on the hardwood floors and the deep bass tones of someone that was decidedly not the man he was seeking over the muffled sounds of what sounded like one of the CDs that had been left in the changer the last time he was over. A faint whiff of something inside made his eyebrows rise. Either Danny was doing some interesting cooking, or there were illegal substances being burned.
He snicked open the lock and eased the door open just a fraction, pleased to note the lights in the apartment were on so the bleeding in from the hallway would not give him away. He slid through the small opening, nearly hitting the doorknob and giving himself away when he heard a sudden crash followed by the deep voice from earlier complain, "Man, you listen to crap music. Don't you have anything good?"
He listened for a response as he snuck into the alcove near the apartment's entrance, closing the door softly behind him. He was not pleased when he could not make out what was being said. Apparently neither was other man. The boots stomped across the floor and Jack involuntarily winced at the sound of what he could only assume was one of the CD cases being crushed in the process.
"What was that?" the deep voice demanded.
Jack listened as someone took a deep breath as of being released from a gag of some sort before he heard the familiar tones of his lover snipe, "Bite me."
There was the sound of something shuffling around followed by a gasp followed by a very pissed off archeologist asking, "What the fuck did you do that for?"
"You asked for it," the other man chuckled. "Such a mouth on you, D. When did you get the attitude?"
"I've always had it, you've just been too drunk or high to notice it," Daniel spat back. There was a slight pause before he added, "Bastard," under his breath.
If Jack could hear it, it was clear the other man could as well. He let out another chuckle, this one sounding like a cross between being half amused and half pissed off. "Again with the mouth, D. We're going to have to find something to keep that thing occupied, aren't we?"
"Not if you don't want it bitten off," Daniel offered cheerily.
"Now, now, you'll change that tune soon enough," the other man chided. There was the sound of some more shuffling, followed by the sound of both plastic and glass bottles being riffled through, their contents rattling as they bounced off each other. "You just need the proper motivation."
Jack had used this time to slink up the short hallway, using the half-wall partition as cover in what would otherwise be a rather open and vulnerable position. He quickly crossed the entrance to the dining room, hoping he was not seen. Given that the man with the deep voice was apparently occupied with the apartment's rightful occupant, that did not appear to be a problem. He peered around the edge of the final partition, peeking through the leaves of a large potted plant on the floor. He briefly remembered Carter giving it to Daniel and wondering why the hell anyone would want a giant shrubbery in their house, but he supposed it had now served a purpose.
As he took in the scene before him, he fought the urge to run in screaming and just take the man down. He knew he needed to wait, to see if there was anyone else in the apartment before he acted. So he watched. He watched as a man slightly taller than Daniel but with a broader build walked right in front of him without seeing him. He watched as the man did not even bother to step over the debris from the smashed CDs and what he hoped were less important artifacts, smashing them further beneath his heavy boots as he made his way to the CD changer. He apparently found something acceptable as soon the room was filled with a pounding beat.
He used the opportunity to examine his lover. Daniel was sitting on the floor in front of one of the couches, his hands apparently tied behind his back at what looked to be an awkward angle. His shirt had been cut open and pushed over the tops of his shoulders where it clung at an odd angle, but it was obviously done either by an amateur or by someone too out of it to have control as small nicks and cuts highlighted the path the knife had taken across his chest. His belt was missing and the top button of his pants was undone, his legs attempting to move up in front of him prevented Jack from seeing more but did show him the bindings at his ankles, apparently of the same cording he had found in the hallway. A wound up piece of fabric hung around his neck, furthering his suspicions of a gag from earlier.
"Gerald, you don't want to do this," the bound man tried as the larger man came back to him, apparently holding something in his hands.
Jack watched as the newly named 'Gerald' crouched down next to the couch, using one hand to steady his balance as he nearly fell. "Daniel, I waited how long for this? Looked for you for how many years? I came all this way to find you and you think I don't want you, don't want to do this?" He shook his head as if full of sorrow. "You might be right about a lot of things, but not this one." It was almost an apology, as if it hurt the man to admit the figure bound before him could possibly do any wrong. He shifted again, picking up one of the glass bottles from the floor.
"I told you before, I don't want that," Daniel nearly pleaded.
"No, you spit them out before, which was very rude of you by the way," Gerald patiently corrected him, bending forward and placing a quick kiss on his furrowed forehead. "It was quite the waste as well, but just goes to show why you need them that much more." Then, with a speed that surprised Jack considering the man was apparently higher than a kite, he shoved something into Daniel's mouth, poured half the contents of the bottle down his throat, and pulled the gag back into place so whatever he just put in there would not be spit back out as he held the man's head still and tried to encourage him to swallow.
Daniel reacted the only way he could, kicking out with his feet and landing a blow in the other man's midsection. Unfortunately, that only seemed to anger him for some odd reason and Gerald swung out with the bottle, smashing it against the bound man's exposed arm, sending shards of glass flying along with flecks of blood from the newly opened skin. "Now look what you made me do!" the enraged man demanded, holding broken bottle inches away from frightened blue eyes. "I'm trying to get you all willing and you go and make me hurt you again! Why do you always have to do that? Do you want me to have to do this?"
"No, but I think he wants me to do this," Jack replied, swinging and connecting with the other man's jaw. He felt he had waited long enough. If there had been anyone else in the apartment, he would have seen or heard some sign of them by now. The single man's self-obsessed ramblings and the sheer use of the words "I" and "me" in all of his speeches clued the military man into the fact he was alone, which meant it was now acceptable to kick his ass without any fear of any further harm coming to the man on the floor.
He sidestepped the bottle aimed at him, trained reflexes beating out an idiotic junkie's any day. He caught his wrist and a simple pressure point caused the remnants of the bottle to join the glass on the floor. A few more well placed hits and Gerald was down for the count.
A quick check to make sure the man would not be causing any more problems in the near future and he was at his lover's side, checking him over for injuries aside from the obvious gash in his arm. "You okay?" he asked, pulling the alcohol-soaked fabric down and out of his mouth.
"No," Daniel replied slowly, letting his head loll to the side to rest on the back of the couch. "Gotta puke," he said, moving as if trying to stand, despite his still bound hands and feet.
Jack pushed him back down with a soft hand to his good shoulder. "You stay there, I'll get you some water after I get you free," he promised.
Before he could stand, Daniel was shaking his head. "No, need to," he urged. "Don't want to, but I have no idea what type of pills the bastard shoved down my throat. Would rather not find out, if that's alright with you."
Jack's eyes opened wide in understanding as he finished unwinding the missing belt from around the other man's upper arms. He slid his pocket knife from his jeans and made quick work of the plastic bindings, wincing in sympathy as Daniel rubbed at the abrasions on his wrists and flexed his feet as he tried to get his circulation going again.
"Ready?" he asked, lopping an arm around the younger man's waist to help him stand. A quick nod and both men groaned as they stood, Jack supporting far more of Daniel's weight than the proud man would ever admit. He was tempted to lift the injured man up and over the shattered glass and other detritus, but figured he would never live it down. One glance at the bare feet below though, and he made up his mind, sweeping him up and into his arms.
"Jack!" Daniel warned. His voice would have been threatening if he were not so clearly out of it. "Put me down before you hurt us both," he demanded, even as his hands looped around the older man's neck.
"Not going to happen," Jack smiled, trying hard not to grunt under the other man's weight as he threaded his way through the apartment to the bathroom.
"Fine," Daniel seemed to concede. "Then put me down before I decide you look like a better target than the toilet."
Jack chose that moment to glance down at the man in his arms and saw his face was an alarming shade of green. "We're here," he announced, depositing him softly onto the tile floor. He barely had time to open the lid before the gagging noises began. He grimaced as he patted his lover on the back. "You take care of that and I'll take care of our friend out there and call Janet, okay?" he offered, turning to leave.
Daniel's frantic shaking of his head made him stop. "Don't call Janet. I don't want to base to know," he pleaded. "I'll explain later, just don't get everyone at the mountain involved unless you want to answer a lot of questions about me, my personal life, and yourself, if you get my drift."
Jack seemed to ponder that for a moment before reaching a decision. "Janet should be home, same as us right now. Let's see if she can make a house call, okay?" Janet's discretion was not in question. She had known about them for pretty much as long as they had been together and they had a fair amount of dirt on her and Sam should it ever come down to it, which all those involved knew it never would.
A weak nod was his only answer before Daniel clutched at the porcelain god and the hacking began anew. Taking that as his cue, he slipped out of the bathroom and set to work.
A knock at the door startled Jack from his position on the floor, carefully seeking out the tiny pieces of pottery shards scattered about the living room area. The loud music from earlier had been turned off before he even began, not understanding how someone was supposed to think with that crap on. He stood up and wiped his hands on his pants before going to answer the door. He was not surprised to find one Janet Fraiser on the other side, black bag at the ready. He did, however, raise his eyebrows at his second in command following her into the apartment.
"Yeah right," Carter told him, rolling her eyes. "You call Janet on our night off to say something happened to Daniel and you didn't expect me to show up?" As she rounded the corner and into the chaos her friend used to call a living room, she added the obligatory, yet completely subconscious, "Sir."
Janet rushed over to the hog-tied, unconscious man and did a quick check. "I take it this is...?"
"Apparently his name is Gerald," O'Neill supplied, leaning against the nearby wall as he watched her do her work.
She checked his pulse, clearly unhappy with the rate. "Are the restraints really necessary or is he out for the count?" she asked, reaching towards his eyes to check his dilatory response.
The man in question chose that moment to wake briefly from his haze and make a half-hearted lunge at her, managing to get approximately three whole inches before a fist connected with his jaw and sent him back to his previous state.
"Thanks, honey," Janet breathed as Sam shook out her hand. "Go put some ice on that so it doesn't swell," she directed, motioning towards the kitchen, but not bothering to look up from her task.
"I know how to hit someone, Janet," Carter muttered, though she headed to the other room as directed.
Fraiser bit her lip as she sat back on her heels, her eyes never leaving the man before her. "What the hell was he on?" she demanded. She sniffed the air then looked over to her friend. "There's more than just pot in his bloodstream, I'm guessing. Got any ideas?"
Jack pushed himself off the wall and offered her a hand up, which she accepted gratefully. He waved a hand towards the small table in the center of the living room and the various goodies laid out there. "I didn't touch the bottles I found, but he had most of them lined up all nice and neat and helpful like. There are more colored pills than there are bottles so it's anyone's guess what he was actually taking," he explained, pointing to the three bottles and the multiple colors surrounding them.
"He's just a walking drug store, isn't he?" she drawled, taking it all in. "Was it just him, or did he share with friends?"
"He shoved some down Daniel's throat, but we have no idea what. Danny's been puking his guts up, or at least trying to, for the last twenty minutes trying to get rid of it," O'Neill told her, and she did not miss the darkening of his tone with his words.
She already had her bag in hand and headed towards her destination as she guessed, "Bathroom?"
"It was that or my shirt, so yeah," he answered, but she was already out of the room.
He looked around at the remaining mess and sighed. "What do you need help with, Sir?" Sam asked from behind him.
He let a hint of a grin cross his features. "Are you cleared for duty, Airman?"
She tossed the icepack she was holding onto the counter and sighed, "You know how she can get. You think she's over-protective with the teams? You should try dating her." Jack didn't say a word but just smiled knowingly. He glanced down at her hand and noticed one of the knuckles was slightly reddened, but there did not appear to be any real damage. He raised an eyebrow in question. "I tensed a bit much when I swung," Sam shrugged. "Hearing about Daniel and then seeing his place like this probably set me on edge."
O'Neill nodded in understanding, knowing it was an understatement in comparison to how he knew he himself was feeling. "Well, we can't do anything about one of those, but we can do something about the other," he offered. He motioned to the remaining mess around them. "Let's clean this place up. I don't know if any of the CDs are salvageable, but I've been putting all the other things up on the table to see if we can piece them back together for him."
"Sounds like a plan," she agreed, tossing her coat over a chair in the breakfast nook and starting to work.
"Try to save any of the pills you find on the floor," Janet called as she re-entered the room. "I want to see if I can recognize any of them." She placed her bag on one of the tables, eyeing the discarded ice pack as she did so. She decided to let it pass, for now.
"Don't touch the bottles, or at least try not to get any prints on them if you have too," Jack ordered, using a handkerchief to pick one up from under the edge of the couch.
"Think someone else might have been involved, Sir?" Carter asked, dutifully collecting various pieces of broken goods from the floor and trying to arrange them into some semblance of order.
He shook his head. "No, just want to make sure there are no ties to us if we have to dump this guy somewhere."
Fraiser was immediately appalled at the idea. "As pissed as we are at this jerk, we can't go killing him and leaving his body somewhere for someone else to find," she objected.
"As tempting as that is, that's not what I was thinking," O'Neill assured her. "I was thinking more along the lines of gathering up Mr. Gerald and all his goodies, dumping him out back somewhere while he's still alive, and calling in a report of suspicious behavior."
Carter paused as she placed a mostly intact bowl on the table. "Why not just turn him in? I'm sure we could have some MPs here in no time."
"If he had wanted to do that, he wouldn't have called me off-duty," Janet reminded her. "What's the story?"
Jack stood, studying one of the scratched CDs in his hand for a moment before answering. "I'm honestly not sure, yet. Daniel asked me to keep this off the record if possible, and I'm sure he has his reasons. He said he would explain everything, and I'm going to make sure he does. If I'm not happy with that explanation, we go with the MPs." He paused, looking up to meet his friends' gazes and found only trust and understanding there. They would honor Daniel's wishes for now. If they were not happy with the information provided, they could always rethink their stance on the matter.
"Where is he anyway?" Sam asked. She turned to the physician. "You were only in there for a minute, I'm assuming there's nothing serious?"
"Nothing fatal," the other woman assured her, knowing she was assuring the man at her side at the same time. "He seemed to have gotten most of whatever was given to him out of his system. If there are any signs of any serious effects, I told him I'd give him something to get the rest out. He begged for a chance to wash up before I tended to his injuries and I agreed. Other than that, he's appears to be slightly high, slightly drunk, and more than slightly embarrassed about the whole thing."
"Daniel, high?" Sam asked, an amused tone to her voice.
"I damn near got a contact high off of his friend over there, not to mention the room and that was after the Colonel opened the windows. Don't tell me you don't know pot when you smell it," Janet smiled and shook her head in disbelief.
"I, well, um," her girlfriend stammered, not quite knowing what to say.
"Sheltered life," Jack stage-whispered in mock seriousness.
"Most definitely," Fraiser agreed. "Most people know what it smells like, even if they've never tried it themselves. Where have you been hiding?" she teased.
Sam shrugged, knowing it was all in jest. "Under a mountain," she quipped.
"At least you're all finding the situation amusing," Daniel commented as he wandered into the room, still toweling his hair dry. He had changed into a pair of sweatpants for comfort and a sleeveless shirt knowing Janet would probably need to bandage his arm. Jack noted with satisfaction he had mind enough to find a pair of slippers before wandering through the remaining bits of rubble. He also noticed the slight sway to his gait as he walked and the still sort of dazed look to his eyes. He chalked it up to exhaustion, stress, and the remnants of the drugs for now.
"How are you doing?" Sam asked, immediately by his side and in full protective mode.
"Not fine, but on my way to being there," he chirped honestly, letting his teammate lead him over to the couch to sit down. She let Janet take the seat next to him, but still hovered nearby. The fact he had answered truthfully without trying to brush off the concern heightened her awareness to his state of being as much as the more physical side effects she was seeing.
Jack let the doctor get settled and begin looking at the injured arm before drawling, "So, want to tell us what happened?" He kept his tone neutral, but the intensity of his eyes gave him away.
"You mean now that you have me surrounded so I can't run away?" the injured man guessed. He winced slightly as the grip on his arm tightened.
"Oh, sorry," Janet apologized, her face the picture of innocence as she removed a tiny piece of imbedded glass with a pair of tweezers.
"I'm sure," Daniel said wearily, rolling his eyes as he tried to stretch the abused muscles currently not in the good doctor's grasp. "To be honest, my mind is so fuzzy at the moment, I don't know if I can tell you other than his name is Gerald Parker and we have a history," he sighed. "I can see the pictures, feel the memories, but I don't know how to put it into words, you know what I mean?"
"That's probably because of the drugs and alcohol still in your bloodstream," Fraiser explained, putting the tweezers down beside her and turning back to face him. "Even trace amounts are going to have an effect, especially considering your empty stomach. Do you remember which ones he gave you? It will help me tell if the effects will wear off on their own or if they'll need a bit of help along the way." She motioned to the coffee table with the now four bottles and their contents.
The archeologist leaned forward and seemed to study them for a moment, as if they were artifacts from a very important dig. Finally, he pointed to the first pile of pills. "He tried to give me those, but I think I spit them all out," he recalled. He then pointed to two other types. "He gave me two or three of those with one or two of those when Jack came. Washed them down with a fair amount of whisky and made it so I couldn't get rid of them. I think I got them all out afterward, but I honestly don't remember," he apologized. "There might have been six pills, and I know I only got five of them up," he clarified, making a face at the memory.
Janet examined them for a moment with a tissue, careful not to let the droplets of blood on her gloves leave any telltale marks on the bottle. "I' m honestly not sure what the first ones are. They look homemade and not exactly legal, so they could be anything. The last two look like Zoloft and Viagra," she declared, not bothering to hide her smirk.
"So, what? I'd be happy and horny?" Daniel giggled, finding the whole thing far more amusing than he should. Though it did explain why he couldn't keep his eyes off Jack, or the way those jeans he was wearing hugged him in all the right places, or... He swallowed heavily. Okay, so maybe Janet was right and some of the drugs, or at least one in particular, were most definitely still in his system, he thought as he casually adjusted his position on the couch.
"Not to mention drunk," Jack pointed out, both appalled and amused at the situation. Appalled that someone would dare drug his lover to get what they wanted, and amused because a drunken Daniel was never as subtle as he thought. "That guy poured about a half a bottle down Danny's throat to try to wash down those pills," he ground out, his anger flaring with his words. The only thing stopping him from finishing off the already unconscious body was knowing Daniel would object. He still had enough connections from his Special Ops days that he could get away with it if need be.
"What can we do to help?" Sam asked from her perch on edge of one of the chairs.
"Get some food in him to absorb the alcohol and plenty of water the flush the drugs through his system and he should be fine," Janet assured her, watching as she disappeared briefly into the other room.
"Can you guys maybe get Gerald the hell out of my apartment?" Daniel asked hopefully, eyeing the unconscious man uneasily. He accepted the granola bar Sam tossed him and tore into it, idly wondering how she knew her way around his kitchen so well.
"You gonna tell us what he did and why he was here?" Jack countered. Despite Janet's assurances, he was still worried about his partner's mental state. The way he wavered between flippant and serious, not to mention the way even the slightest move seemed exaggerated, proved to him that the younger man was nowhere near fine.
"You saw what he did," the younger man mumbled around a mouthful of the snack bar. "Sat and watched while he would have had his way with me. Took your damn sweet time about coming to my rescue."
"But he did come to your rescue, and before anything too bad could happen," Sam pointed out helpfully.
The drugged archeologist grinned, happy once more. "You're right, he did. He came sweeping in and took him out before he could have his wicked way with me again," he chirped, not noticing Jack's eyes grow wide at the word "again".
"But why was he here in the first place?" Sam pressed, trying to bring the conversation back around to the original topic.
Daniel leaned back into the couch, resting his head against the cushions as he let Janet swab something or other onto his arm. "Short version: He finally tracked me down because he couldn't figure out no meant no about ten years ago and doesn't understand the concept of a restraining order. Long version's going to have to wait until I'm a bit more sober and can think of a way to explain it without Jack kicking his ass some more." He smiled at his own awareness of his lover's moods.
"Needless to say, it would be best if this whole 'in my apartment all tied up' thing did not make it around base. There's no way of explaining it without it getting out that at least one time in my life I slept with guys and therefore was and/or am gay and if that's not excuse enough to get the crap beat out of me on a military base, all my actions would be suspect including but not limited to hanging around with a certain Air Force Colonel. Even the implication could cost Jack a bit more than his job and I would rather not risk that if that's okay with you," he rattled off in a single breath in explanation. He sat up a bit more and met their worried eyes with his still glassy gaze, letting the implications sink in. Even half out of it, he made a hell of a lot of sense.
Janet decided it was time to take charge. "You two pack up his stuff and dump him out back like what the Colonel was proposing. He's due to wake up again any time now so I'd hurry if I were you. Let's keep the MPs out of it to save us all a lot of hassle. I'll finish patching up Daniel's arm and check out his wrists; it doesn't look like anything is going to need stitches. Come back here and we'll talk about dinner options," she directed.
"Ma'am, yes, Ma'am," Jack replied, pushing himself up off the second couch and offering a textbook salute.
"I love it when you get all authoritative," Sam growled, trying not to laugh as she pecked her partner on her cheek before going to help her teammate pack everything up.
"I'll show you authority," Janet smiled, swatting her away.
"I had no idea you two were into that," Daniel commented casually, just loud enough for the doctor to hear. She bit her tongue, knowing it was just his compromised mental state making his words so... free. "I can get that," he continued, nodding sagely and ignoring the hint of crimson edging across her cheekbones. "I've always had a thing for the bad-boy, dangerous type myself."
"I never would have guessed," she replied sweetly, trying not to laugh. She watched the 'bad-boy' in question try to man-handle the intruder into some sort of carrying position while her own loved one looked on, apparently deep in thought about something.
"Oh, wait, Sir!" Sam called out, proving Janet's silent assessment correct. "Let me send the security cameras into a feedback loop so we're not caught on tape trying to haul him out."
Jack looked at his watch and shook his head. "We've got about twenty minutes before the nightly security sweep. I'd like to get him down there before then and, as much faith as I have in your abilities, I think it's going to take longer than that."
"Then let me go first and cut the wires," she suggested.
He did not even question whether she could do it without being caught. "Do it," he agreed.
She nodded and darted out the door. Seven minutes later, she reappeared, not looking at all winded from what he knew had to be a whirlwind operation. "Ready, Sir," she announced.
"Not a minute too soon," he muttered under his breath as he prepared to lift his load. Daniel had been leering at him in ways impossible for Janet to ignore as she cleaned the last of the scratches on his arm and it was making him damned uncomfortable. He was not even going to mention the near-vulgar things the man was doing to the second granola bar they had given him. Under normal circumstances, he would have played along and teased the physician, but knowing his lover was under the influence of narcotics made it a completely different matter.
"On three?" Sam asked, positioning herself to help. She took his nod as assent. "One, two," she began, the final number disappearing into a shared grunt as they lifted the large man and angled him towards the door.
As they left, they heard Janet admonish, "You behave!" It was shortly followed by what could only be a pouting Daniel exclaiming, "You never let me have any fun!"
"Do we even want to know?" Carter asked wearily.
"No, I really think we don't," Jack responded.
They managed to get Gerald all the way down the back stairwell and into the garage area without incident. They only had to dart around a corner once when they heard voices approaching before managing to dump the man out back and into the alley. Jack quickly cut his bound hands, checked to make sure that the cuffs of his shirt had prevented any telltale marks, and tucked the ties into pocket, noticing the man starting to come around again now that the cooler air surrounded him. A quick motion to his second in command, and they disappeared back into the garage before anyone could see them together.
They returned the way they had left, Sam removing the shunts she had placed in the doors on the floors leading to Daniel's, allowing them to open as normal once more. Jack nodded in approval. His team was good.
They returned to the apartment just in time to hear Janet say, "I don't think that's such a good idea," as she finished wrapping the final piece of gauze around her patient's arm.
"But Jack won't even..." Daniel began in a pleading voice, stopping himself when he noticed the man in question had returned. "Oh, hi, Jack!" he bubbled. "Janet and I were just talking about how to get this crap out of my system and I thought up a way but she's not sure and..."
"And I'll let you two work it out while Sam and I go pick up dinner, and possibly Teal'c," Janet hurriedly cut him off. She snapped her bag closed and practically rushed over to the door where her lover still stood.
"But he's way back at the base," the other woman pointed out, confused at the physician's actions, not to mention attitude.
"He is?" Janet feigned surprise. "Then it might take us a bit longer, now won't it?" she chirped.
"I don't want to know, do I?" Carter sighed.
"No, you really do not," Fraiser replied, pushing her towards the door. Turning back to her would-be patient, she called, "Why don't you explain your idea to the Colonel while we just go... pick everything up?" she suggested, pulling the door closed behind her before either man had a chance to answer.
"Daniel?" Jack began cautiously after the whirlwind departure of the two women, edging closer as if the other man were a wild animal ready to strike. "What was that all about?"
"I told you," Daniel replied with a smile. "Janet and I were just talking about one way to get at least one of the drugs out of my system." His smile dissolved to be replaced by the leer from earlier.
"And what would that be?" Jack asked, suddenly uneasy about being left alone with Daniel in this condition. When the intoxicated man levered himself up from the couch and walked, no, swaggered over to him, he started to get an idea of just what was on his mind.
Daniel looped his fingers through the belt loops on Jack's jeans, pulling him closer and letting him feel what his baggy sweatpants were doing their very best to hide. He leaned forward, letting his breath ghost over his lover's ear as he whispered, "Let it work its way out of my system naturally." He accented his words with a quick nip at the tantalizing lobe before him, just in case Jack did not understand his meaning.
Jack more than understood, he felt it with every fiber of his being. "You' re drunk, not to mention high," he resisted.
"Increased physical activity will help work the substances out of my bloodstream that much faster," Daniel countered, pushing forward and nibbling his way down the older man's jaw line. "Besides, this is nothing I would not do if I were completely sober and alone with you in my apartment on a Friday night."
"What about your comment from earlier?" Jack attempted. "The one where you said Gerald was trying to have his wicked way with you 'again'? What about the 'again' part?"
Daniel did not back off as expected. Instead, he smiled, his lips moving against his lover's throat. "Ooh, how chivalrous!" he teased. Sensing Jack pull back, he pulled closer and continued, "Mr. Parker did attempt to get me, shall we say, excited before you arrived. It did not work as I am not interested in obsessed lunatics. Thus Mr. Parker turned to drugs, as I suspect he does with many of his problems, pushing upon me that which is in my system now."
"Which is why we have to stop," Jack reasoned. "I will not take advantage of you when you are not in full control of all your... facilities."
Once again, Daniel smiled, this time at the other man's choice in words. "Let me make this abundantly clear for you: I would want you under normal circumstances. These are not normal circumstances. The drugs in my system are making me highly aroused to the point of being uncomfortable. I had thought you would be willing to assist me in this matter. If you are not, I will be forced to take matters into my own hands, so to speak. I did not want Mr. Parker before. I do not want Mr. Parker now. I want you. In point of fact, I would say I need you right now. If you do not help me, I will help me. Please be advised that I will remind you of this fact loudly, clearly, and repeatedly." He pressed up tighter against his lover, the unspoken words of, "And possibly for some time to come," ringing loudly in the other man's ears.
"You would tempt a saint," Jack groaned, knowing any resistance at this point would just be for show. As usual, Daniel had a goal in mind and nothing was going to stop him.
"You're no saint," Daniel grinned, pulling his head down for a kiss, sound in his victory.
"Is it safe to go in?"
"The authorities have already apprehended the suspicious person outside Daniel Jackson's building, I believe there is no cause for concern," Teal'c replied, tilting his head to the side.
"Um, that's not quite what she meant," Janet non-explained.
They had unfortunately timed their exit earlier to match almost the exact moment a strung-out Gerald was found by the nightly security sweep. When roused, he apparently began insisting he was there for Doctor Daniel Jackson, which, due the security agency's ties to the mountain, sent up all sorts of red flags. The agents spotted the two military officers on the way to pick up food for their friend and asked if they knew the man or why he would be attempting to contact Doctor Jackson. They had responded in the negative, which was technically true. They did not know the man personally nor did they know his history with Daniel as their civilian friend had yet to offer up a full explanation to the situation. They also assured the agents that Colonel O'Neill was currently with their friend, going so far as to call up to the loft to confirm the men's safety and issue a gentle warning of the suspicious activity. They were not surprised to overhear that additional agents would be assigned to the area for the evening until Air Force security deemed otherwise.
In the end, Mr. Parker was carted away to be detained and have every aspect of his personal life examined by the authorities and the two military officers were released to rush to the mountain to ensure Daniel's name and personal life were in no way tied in to anything they found.
Janet filled in Teal'c as to everything that had happened and attempted to calm him down while Sam scoured Gerald's records to see if any alterations would be needed, something that was actually far easier to do from the mountain versus Daniel's own laptop as she had originally intended. Their paths obviously crossed, but there was absolutely no trace of anything more than a passing knowledge of each other. That, mixed with the fact Gerald was found outside of the apartment building talking about needing to get to Daniel and apparently not remembering he had already been with him certainly helped matters. The drugs and alcohol they would find in his system would make anything else he said seem like delusions or dreams and would further serve to protect their friend. The fact the security footage from Gerald entering the building earlier was mysteriously missing from the agency's server would help as well. She found the restraining order Daniel had glibly mentioned, noting with interest it apparently tied back to a break-in at the University where he had been working at the time with no mention of any personal reasons in the order. Both she and Janet assumed it was all part of the story they were going to get out of him before the night was over.
After Sam made certain that there was no trace of her activities, the two women and the Jaffa left to pick up dinner and return to the apartment where their other friends should be waiting for them. Both women had to continue to reassure the Jaffa that their civilian friend was fine all along the way. Janet suspected actually seeing Daniel safe and sound and in one piece would be the only thing that could put all his worries to rest. She understood the feeling, knowing she had felt the same way up until she had marched into that bathroom and saw the man brushing his teeth as if nothing had happened, blissfully unaware of the blood dripping down his shoulder or the drying beads of it across his chest. Okay, so maybe her worries had not been put to rest at that exact moment, but it had been a start.
"Is Daniel Jackson's welfare in question?" the large man asked, dark eyes narrowing. The tone of his voice brought her back to the present and the situation at hand.
"Daniel's fine, aside from a few scrapes and bruises and being higher than a kite," Janet assured him.
At Teal'c's questioning and alarmed gaze, Sam clarified, "He was given narcotics that affected his metal state. Don't be surprised if he's a bit out of it or has trouble concentrating."
"I checked him out myself," the physician promised.
"Then what is the cause for concern?"
Sam opened her mouth as if to respond, but closed it quickly, not quite sure she wanted to repeat Janet's candid explanation from earlier to her friend. The smaller woman cut her off before she could even begin. "I'm sure there' s nothing to worry about. Let's just knock and go in, shall we?" Under her breath she added, "They've had plenty of time to take the edge off, if nothing else." Exuding far more confidence than she felt, she knocked.
Several thuds and some muffled swearing later, Colonel O'Neill opened the door, looking a bit more disheveled than they last left him, but showing absolutely no evidence of any wrong doing to the wayward eye. "Ladies, good to see you have returned," he greeted them with a bit more enthusiasm than absolutely necessary. "T-man, glad you could join us. Is that food I smell? By all means come on in and start serving before he eats every single cracker and candy in sight," he rushed, stepping to the side to allow them to enter.
"Munchies?" Carter guessed, carrying the goods past him and into the dining room.
"Like you wouldn't believe," Jack affirmed, finally pausing for breath as he sighed.
He let her get settled and Teal'c begin his recon of the room, knowing the man was sizing up the place based on what limited information he was probably given up to this point. As Janet passed though, he grabbed the little physician and pulled her off to the side. "How long?" he demanded in a hushed voice.
"How long what?" she asked sweetly, pasting on as innocent a smile as she could manage.
"How long will he be, well, you know?" he tried, looking furtively between the woman and the other room. "How long will the 'effects' last?" he asked, using his fingers to delineate the quotation marks and giving her a look that warned not to push it.
"Food and plenty to drink should help with the lingering effects of the narcotics he was given," she began, knowing the other man should know this already.
"That's not what I'm talking about," O'Neill grit out, not in the least surprised when Daniel came up behind him and wrapped his arms around him possessively. The seasoned Air Force Colonel hung his head and let out a slow breath. When he looked up again, there was a hint of desperation in his eyes. "This is what I'm talking about," he explained wearily, motioning to the man behind him.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, eyes wide in understanding as she watched the younger man nibble at an apparently delectable earlobe. "I've, er, never had reason to prescribe it, but I've read reports where the, um, effects, lasted up to thirty-six hours," she mumbled.
"Thirty-six?" Jack nearly shouted. He stopped himself, taking another grounding breath as he realized he risked drawing the very attention to himself from their other visitors he was trying to avoid. Of course, having a grown man trying to climb into your skin with you probably had the same effect, so he had no idea what he was trying to hide at this point. "Please say there's some way to speed up the process," he pleaded.
"Food and water," she shrugged, trying to hide her amusement at the Colonel' s predicament. "If it's any consolation, the alcohol in his system will probably make him pass out soon," she tried.
"Aren't the food and water supposed to help fight that too?"
"Well, yes," she admitted with a grin. Seeing his scowl, she patted him reassuringly on the arm. "I'll keep an eye on him while I'm here to make sure nothing else is having any effect. Other than that, all I can say is suck it up, Colonel. Enjoy it while you can," she laughed.
"Very funny," he muttered, letting her pass. She was certain she heard the words, "Already been there and done that," as she made her way to the table to assist the others in passing out the food.
"Daniel, come sit down and eat," she ordered in her most authoritative voice, pleased to see the younger man let go of his lover with a shrug and accept an overflowing plate of food. Apparently the munchies beat out even the libido, she thought as she watched him dig in with relish.
She poured him a glass of water and sat down beside him, gauging his reactions and motor functions as he dealt with the world around him. He seemed oblivious to her attention, as well as to the attention his other teammates were giving him as chomped away at the goodies on his plate.
They ate in silence for a bit, no one knowing quite how to broach the subject at hand. Sam tried starting a few conversations, but they quickly died out after one to two word answers. Teal'c ate little, his gaze leaving his teammate only when it drifted to the debris on the other table or the stain of alcohol on the pale rug in the other room. Jack also could not take his eyes off of the injured man, only bothering with the pretense of eating when Janet subtly reminded him with a swift kick to the shin under the table.
"So, how come everyone's so quiet?" Daniel asked as he finished off the last of his second helping of food. "Is it because of the whole bound up and drugged thing? Because you really shouldn't let that ruin your night." He paused and a look of horror crossed his face. "Oh no! That's why you're here, isn't it? You guys weren't planning on coming over at all tonight and I totally ruined your plans!"
"You did not destroy my evening," Teal'c assured him.
"Don't even think that!" Sam admonished.
"But you were over at Janet's doing your thing and Teal'c was at the base doing his thing until Gerald had to come over and do his thing and ruin it for everyone," Daniel protested. He paused for a moment, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. "You know, technically that means it was Gerald ruined the evening, what with doing his thing and all." There was another pause and Jack opened his mouth to speak, only to be cut off by the still quite dazed man cursing, "What a bastard."
Jack closed his mouth, biting down a chuckle at how matter of fact the younger man had made the proclamation. He glanced around the table as saw Janet hiding a smirk in her drink and Sam covering her expression with one of her hands. The serious look on Teal'c's face, with only one eyebrow slightly arched, brought him back to what he had been about to say. "Just what was Gerald's 'thing'?" he asked.
Some of the glaze left the shining blue eyes as Daniel pushed his chair back slightly and slumped down into it. "You mean aside from the showing up randomly and tying me up? I have no idea."
"Daniel," Jack warned, knowing he just wanted to escape and also knowing he really needed to get this out, and the sooner the better.
"No, seriously, that's pretty much what it comes down to," Daniel shrugged. "Well, that and the attempts at sex. The man apparently has some obsessive tendencies and chose me as the subject for some no apparent reason."
"There's always a reason," Jack prodded.
"No, there really is not," Daniel countered, a bit too insistently for his friends' liking.
"Yes, there is."
"No, there's not."
"Why not tell us the whole story and let us make up our own minds?"
"There's really not much of a story to tell."
"I think there is."
"Then you may be in error."
"I don't think so."
"You seem to be doing a lot of thinking tonight, is it a special occasion?"
"Gentlemen!" Janet snapped before it could go much further. There was a gleam to Jack's eyes that bordered on dangerous and Daniel's had narrowed to mere slits across his increasingly reddening face. For this particular situation, however, she had to agree with the Colonel. They needed all the information they could about this guy and they needed it soon. The quick run down from earlier was enough for them to agree to a cover-up, but, if the cover-up was going to work, they needed more. She sighed, gathering her stores of patience from her years of working with injured gung-ho military personnel, and suggested, "Why don't you tell us as much as you can about this guy and we'll decide what information we need to keep this from happening again?" Her tone let him know that it was more than a suggestion.
Daniel used his hand that was currently not fiddling with his napkin to wipe across his face and rub his eyes, using all the little stalling gestures he could before he began. Looking up, he saw four different faces all giving him the same expression and knew they weren't buying it. Sighing, he decided there was no way out but to tell his tale.
"I met Gerald Parker about ten years ago. He was a student in one of the classes I was helping to teach and before you say anything, we did not 'hook up' until after the class was over. He was actually quite bright back then, or at least good at faking it. I figured he just didn't know his own potential and could be successful if he put his mind to it. He was known for having a bit of a wild side and kept insisting I needed to 'let my hair down and have a bit of fun' if I was going to make it past thirty without having an aneurysm." He smirked at the words, knowing how familiar they sounded to the others. Just change the 'past thirty' part of the comment and you could still hear O'Neill and Ferretti telling him the same thing the first two years he was on base.
"I fought him at first, not physically, but kept putting off his advances for months after the class ended. Then, after one extremely stressful day with the deans, he was there and I agreed. We went out to a local pub and got drunk. It was then I realized how much the boy liked his alcohol and the reason why he wasn't getting as far as he could in the academic world. When we stood up to go home, I got pretty dizzy. He offered to take me back to his place since it was closer and I agreed. I've never been able to remember much after that, but you know me with alcohol. I was worse back then and tended to be a bit 'freer' with things in general and very open to suggestion. The next thing I remember is waking up at his place, in his bed, with several interesting bruises."
"Rohypnol," Janet guessed, her eyes as dark as the Colonel's at the implication. She finished her drink and rested a reassuring hand on her friend's shoulder, noticing her partner edge in closer as well.
"Isn't that the date rape drug?" Sam asked, her expression one of horror. Teal'c's expression just continued to grow progressively darker.
"Look, I don't know if that's what he used or not," Daniel said honestly, eying the spot where the man had lain on the floor only hours before. "I honestly have no idea what happened that night, if anything at all. He kept telling me things that he would only know if we were, well, intimate, and told me I must have been too drunk to remember and apologized for that. He said he never would have tried anything if he thought I was too out of it. Like a fool, I believed him."
He looked up at them and they saw most of the lingering daze was out of his eyes. "He came over to my place and we had a nice quiet meal. He had brought a bottle of wine as a peace offering, but I didn't actually drink any of it. He drank pretty much the whole thing and started in again with the making passes. We made out a little bit, I admit that, and he wanted to take it further. I said no, but he kept pushing. The way he was acting, I figured there was more than wine in his system. Next thing I know, he's got my arms pinned down and tied with his belt while he's trying to undress me. Now, I like a little friendly bondage as much as the next guy, but there's a difference between two consenting adults and one saying no while the other's out of control on drugs and alcohol."
He paused while Sam sputtered, watching as she turned all shades of red. "TMI, Daniel, too much information," she said in response to his questioning gaze. He thought back to what he just said and blushed as well. Perhaps some of the crap he was given was still loose in his system after all, making him a bit loose with his words. He'd have to try to watch that or he would be giving his friends way too much blackmail material for the future.
"What happened next?" Jack asked quietly.
Daniel swallowed a bit of his water before he continued. "He must have been too out of it when he tried to tie me because he was rather surprised when I got out. I tried to fight him off but he turned violent. I must have made a lot of noise about it because several of my neighbors came over to see if I needed any help. With their assistance, I threw him out. I told them he was just drunk and needed a chance to sober up, and they believed me. He tried to come back, but I threatened to call the cops. About a week later, I got the letter stating I was accepted at the Oriental Institute in Chicago. I moved away and figured that would be the end of it." He shrugged, wincing as the bandage pulled and the muscles in his back and arms made it known they still did not appreciate that he had been held in one position for so long. He figured it was a good sign; that as the pain returned so did sobriety.
"It wasn't the end of it, was it?" Janet asked sympathetically, rubbing small circles on his back.
Daniel shook his head. "He tracked me down to Chicago after I had been there for a while, he had apparently gotten a number from someone back on the old campus. He kept calling me and I told him not to. He stopped by a few times and Steven and Sarah even ran interference more than once, even though we had just broken up. I finally got fed up and thought about getting a restraining order against him. Then I found him in my lab again. This time someone walked in while he was trying to tie me up, but they had no idea what was going on. The school pressed charges for breaking and entering and he spent a few months in jail. He immediately came right back and started hassling me again. I finally got the restraining order, and let everyone believe he was just trying to get back at me for stopping the break-in. It didn't really stop him from following me around, but it stopped him from actually getting to me. He got arrested again for violating the order just before my big presentation. I'm not too sure what happened to him after that."
"How did he find you this time, after all these years?" Sam asked.
"He found Steven, still drugged out of his mind on pain meds from the Sar- from the Osiris incident. Steven must have accidentally let him know where I was," he sighed. He looked up and saw the doubting look in his lover's eyes. "Steven and I may have been competitive, and he could be petty about a lot of things, but he would never sell me out to Gerald. He covered for me countless times, sending the bastard on wild goose chases while giving me a heads up to get somewhere safe. Hell, he even supported me get the restraining order. I cannot and will not believe he did anything on purpose."
"If he can be traced back to Steven, will Steven tell the authorities about your less than casual acquaintance with Gerald?" Sam asked, and Daniel had to let out a small smile. She was in full protective mode, thinking of all the possibilities and ways to handle anything that might get thrown at them after this little situation.
"I don't think so," he replied. "I mean, Steven has kept the secret for this many years, he wouldn't break confidence now."
"Even with the pain meds?" Jack pressed.
"Even with the pain meds," Daniel assured him. "I don't think Steven meant to tell him anything. From what Gerald was saying, I would be willing to bet Steven just accidentally confirmed I was either here in the Springs or working for the military and Ger put the rest together on his own. He was bright at one time, some of those neurons have to fire every once in a while."
"Are you willing to chance it?" Sam asked, knowing she was speaking what was on her commanding officer's mind as well.
Daniel immediately nodded. "I can give him a call tonight if you would like, or would that seem too suspicious?"
Janet scrunched up her face in thought. "It might," she confirmed.
"Do you honestly trust him that much?" Jack asked, his tone soft, but serious.
"With my research, no, I would not trust him to even proofread the bibliography without trying to steal something for himself. With this, I trust him with my life," his lover promised.
"Then it has to be enough," Jack shrugged, leaning back in his chair as if it were nothing.
Daniel felt a sense of warmth at the other man's words that he really hoped was not just his libido returning. Jack trusted him, he trusted Steven, therefore Jack trusted Steven.
The ringing of the phone broke him out of his musings, and he shakily stood to retrieve it, motioning for his companions to stay where they were and cursing his lack of coordination. He really hoped the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion that was creeping up on him was playing more of a role with the way his body was acting rather than anything else. "Hello?" he yawned into the receiver.
"If that's Raynor, I'm buying everyone a steak dinner, even Teal'c, just for his timing alone," Jack mouthed to the others.
Daniel simply rolled his eyes and concentrated on the voice at the other end of the line. Despite Jack's wild guessing, it was not his college friend, but rather his current employer attempting to talk to him. "General Hammond, what can I do for you?" he asked, thankful the pantomime at the table ended at the sound of their commanding officer's name.
"I'm actually calling to make sure everything is all right as far as you are concerned, Doctor Jackson," the General began.
"What do you mean, Sir?" he asked, though he had a fair idea why the General was calling. He knew there was no way to get this past the man. The security team would have reported to the mountain. The MPs would have immediately notified the General of any suspicious activity regarding any member of any team. It was standard procedure. Now he just had to figure out how to reassure the man that he was fine without actually telling him anything or arousing any suspicions. He could not lie to him, he respected the General far too much for that. He knew the man would go to bat for him and do anything in his power to protect him, but he also knew he shouldn't have to and that he would never willingly put him in a position to do so. He just wished his muddled mind would clear enough to give a convincing cover story.
"There appears to have been an incident outside of your apartment building earlier this evening," Hammond was saying, and it was clear he was being careful choosing his words as well. "A man was arrested attempting to enter the premises while making declarations of his intent to see you. He appeared to be quite inebriated and further testing revealed illegal substances in his bloodstream as well."
"Was this the man they asked Sam and Janet about when they went to go pick up dinner?" he asked, thankful of the warning his friends had given him of the incident.
"Yes, yes it was," Hammond affirmed, a hint of pride in his voice. It was a test; he had just passed. The police report would have included mention of Majors Carter and Fraiser and their denial of knowledge regarding the intruder. If it were a cover-up, the most obvious thing to do would be to deny any knowledge of the situation whatsoever.
"Did they figure out who he was or what he wanted?" he asked, again careful not to give anything away. His head was beginning to ache, either from the dehydration from the drugs and alcohol or from trying to concentrate through the remaining din those two wonderful gifts had left behind.
"Apparently his name is Gerald Parker," the General drawled.
Another test. He could handle this. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, knowing it would come across more as shock than as a stalling tactic. "There's a name I could have gone without hearing again," he sighed. Again, his words were nothing but the truth.
"Then I assume you have a fair idea what it was he was after," Hammond said in apparent commiseration.
"After all this time, the man is still obsessed," Daniel replied. "You would think he would have given up by now."
There was a brief pause, then a clearing of a throat before the General continued. "It appears the obsession may have grown over time."
"What do you mean?" he asked, knowing the other man could hear the wince in his tone.
There was another clearing of his throat before the explanation. "Mr. Parker was found with a bag full of various narcotics along with plastic cording, knives, and other miscellaneous materials."
"And you believe he intended to use these miscellaneous materials on or against me," Daniel surmised. "But why? Why would he still..." he broke off, not sure how to phrase what he was going to say without giving too much away. He figured he was doing pretty good up until this point, but really would have preferred a completely cleared state of mind before having to deal with this at all.
"We found the restraining order you took out against him and the police reports of the violations of that order before he served time for them," Hammond told him. "Revenge can be a powerful motivator." He was offering him a cover story, and Daniel was smart enough to grab on to it. He just needed to make sure he did not see overeager to do so.
"It just doesn't make sense," he complained, shaking his head. "None of it does. Why now? Why still, after all these years?"
"That's for the psychologist to figure out. For now, he is going to be detained on charges of drunk and disorderly conduct, and the possession of illegal substances and concealed weapons. The restraining order on record will help make this a bit more than a slap on the wrist, even if it's no longer valid. Due to your security clearance, he will be held in an Air Force approved facility. In the mean time, we will investigate any ties Mr. Parker may or may not have to the NID and other rogue groups."
"Do you really think that's likely?" Daniel asked, letting doubt color his tone.
"No, he seems too much like a loose cannon to be involved with anything like that. Frankly, I don't know what to believe as it just does not make any sense," General Hammond sighed. "Facts are facts though, and as long as we stick to them, we will detain this man and hopefully prevent this from happening again." Daniel heard a subtle undercurrent to his voice and suspected the General suspected there was more going on than he was letting on. He also suspected it was the General's way of saying he would do what he could to help him. So far, he had not lied, he had only not told the whole truth, something he was getting quite used to working in a Top Secret organization.
"Yes, Sir," he said, not sure what else to say at this point.
"In the mean time, we will be assigning extra security to your building and increasing the nightly sweeps. Hopefully, if there is more than a single perpetrator, this will deter them."
"Yes, Sir," he repeated.
There was a soft click as if someone had left the line and he had a feeling completing a report would be redundant in this case. "Daniel," George began, letting him know this was not the General of an Air Force facility speaking, but a friend. "It's going to be alright."
Daniel's heart warmed and he felt the edge of the tension that had been growing throughout the phone call begin to dissipate. "Thank you," he said, and hoped the other man knew how deeply he meant it.
"Now, is Colonel O'Neill still there?" he asked, back in full business mode.
"Hanging on every word he can listen in on," Daniel confirmed with a wink to his lover, smiling at the contrite look he received in return.
"Good. May I speak to him, please?"
"Of course," he said, dutifully handing the phone off, whispering, "Your turn."
He sat back down in his seat to receive another glass of water from Janet, a hug from Sam, and a concerned look from Teal'c. "You seem perturbed. Is there anything I can be of assistance with at this time?" the large man asked.
"No," he answered, shaking his head. "Though I think you might be called upon for babysitting duties for the next few days," he mused, smiling at the expression that crossed his friend's face.
"Stop confusing Teal'c," Jack admonished, trying to seem as normal as possible while his heart felt like it would explode from beating so quickly. Special Ops training could come in handy at the most unusual of times. Swallowing, he spoke into the receiver, "Yes, General?"
"Jack," Hammond began, setting the tone for the conversation the same way he had with the younger civilian moments ago. "Is he really okay? He seemed a bit off."
"Well, he has had a bit to drink," he answered, offering up a reason for Daniel's behavior while ignoring the face being made in his direction. "Besides, can you really blame him? Some nut from his past just tried to get into his building and into his present. It's bound to throw anyone off."
"I would feel better if he were not left alone until the investigation is complete. Now, I can assign an Airman, but I'm assuming that won't be necessary, correct?" George asked.
Jack eyed the room before him, watching Fraiser and Carter dote on the increasingly exhausted and thankfully not currently outwardly libidinous man while a certain Jaffa looked on appearing both caring and defensive at the same time. "Oh, I don't think that's going to be a problem. I think I can name at least four people off the top of my head who will volunteer for the job."
"Good," the General approved. "Oh, and Jack? I'm going to trust Sam cleaned up after herself and that Doctor Fraiser understands the proper procedures for reporting home accidents."
Before the Colonel had a chance to come up with a good response, he heard the phone disconnect with a chuckled, "Goodnight, and keep our boy safe." Jack returned the receiver to its cradle while shaking his head. He should have known better than to try to pull one over on George.
He turned back to the sight at the table, watching as Daniel tried to keep his head from lolling to the side while contemplating a third plate of food. He watched his friends joke and laugh despite the stressful situation they had all been through. Part of him figured they were used to it by now, putting their lives on the line on a daily basis having numbed them to the meaning of the word "stress". Part of him thought it was sad that he truly believed it. Most of him was just thankful for knowing them at all and having a place with them in this intricate mess they called life.
He thought of Gerald and how the man thought he picked an easy target, an apparent loner who wouldn't fight back; a beautiful, easy score that could be controlled either by force or coercion. Someone he thought he could own.
How wrong that assumption had proved to be.
Daniel had managed to fight back, keep fighting, and to attract people who would help him when it became too much for him alone. Gerald had been determined to have Daniel through any means. Jack was determined to protect Daniel through any means. Considering how many people stood beside him, there was no doubt in his mind what the outcome of any future altercations would be.
As Jack watched the banter at the table continue, his eyes sought out and locked with his lover's, an entire conversation passing in a simple gaze. This was not over; it would be quite some time before everything was laid to rest. He expected discussions, arguments, and nightmares to rear their heads. He also expected loving, caring, and understanding to be there, as always, to help them make it through. This was to say nothing of the insistent meddling of some very good friends, of course. He sat down beside those friends and smiled, carefully extricating Daniel's hand from his lap and placing it back on the table. They would be fine. There was simply no other way for it to end.
|Category:||Jack/Daniel, Daniel/Other Male, Sam/Janet|
|Summary:||Someone from Daniel's past is determined to get what he wants. Daniel's friends object.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Slash (nothing too graphic), hints of possible non-con, what you might think of as bondage, sex, drugs, & rock 'n roll. Whoo hoo! I think I got them all. Oh yeah, and a slight language warning as well. Takes place shortly after the episode "The Curse."