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25 February 2013 @ 11:30 pm
Fic: Then and Now [SG-1; Mature]  
Then and Now
Rating: Mature
Original/Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Pairing: Jack/Daniel
Summary: They couldn't say the words then.
Notes: written for writerverse Phase 5 Table of Doom prompt: Genre: romance.
Word Count: 1995

Daniel stood in the middle of the small hallway, undecided, head swiveling back and forth between the two bedrooms, finally setting his bag down just inside the guest room door. No point in being presumptuous. More presumptuous, that is. Just being here was pretty nervy, maybe; he hadn't even spoken with Jack in months. But here he was, so he started in on the standard checklist of opening up the cabin, making sure all the utilities were functional.

It irritated him that he needed to check the instruction sheet taped up on the inside of the pantry door, more so when he found that he’d missed a few steps. Used to be that he, Teal’c, Sam and Jack would have had this place whipped into shape in ten minutes or less; any one of them could have done it alone with just a few minutes more. But that was a long time ago, when the cabin had served as a retreat for the four of them after Jack had closed up the house in Colorado and moved to Washington.

But then there was The Conversation and Daniel had started turning down offers that would end up with just him and Jack here, alone, which became the case more and more often as Sam and Teal’c moved onto to new stages of their careers and lives. In the end, Jack finally stopped asking. Based on the stickiness of some of the valves and the general feel of the place, Daniel suspected that Jack hadn’t been up here in quite some time either.

Once he'd gotten everything in order, he started the coffeemaker and let it run while he built a fire to chase away the chill of disuse. Then he took a steaming cup of coffee and a couple of journals that he hadn't caught up on yet, put his feet up, and read. Or tried to read. But mostly he stared at the fire and worried.

He’d thought it had been a smart plan: get here early and take some time to relax before Jack arrived, if he arrived. He had been able to get a hold of Jack’s schedule; it would be at least a couple more hours before he could possibly arrive. But instead of relaxing, he was just getting more and more nervous. He now had hours to sit and wonder if Jack would even show up. And to debate what it meant if he didn't show up. Had he just forgotten a semi-drunken half-conversation from years ago? Or had he changed his mind, maybe never even meant it in the first place. For all Daniel knew, there could be someone else. Just because he hadn’t been dating, didn’t mean Jack wasn’t. No promises had been made about the time between then and now. And Daniel was no longer in a position to know what Jack was doing on his off hours.

He tossed the journal on the table, then sighed and leaned his head back on the couch. He was exhausted; anxiety and anticipation keeping him awake the past few nights. He could feel himself being pulled down into sleep despite his best intentions. He really wanted to be awake and alert if, when, Jack showed up, for good or for bad. But the couch was just as comfortable as he remembered and the fire was warming the room nicely.

Sure enough, when he woke, he saw Jack standing next to the couch, watching him thoughtfully. Daniel blinked away the last of the midday nap sleepiness. Jack was still there. He must have just come in: his coat was unbuttoned, but still on, his bag still slung over his shoulder. They stared at each other.

"You're here," Jack started as Daniel said, "You came."

They chuckled, a little nervously, a little companionably and Daniel picked up. "That was the deal, right?"


It had become increasingly rare that all four of them had been able to get up to the cabin at the same time. Last time, the Mountain had gone on lockdown just minutes before the three of them reached the elevator; the time before that, Daniel hadn’t made it, busy researching possible locations for Merlin’s weapon. So Jack had pulled strings to make sure this happened for them, Daniel was sure of it, after they had returned from a mission with Teal’c 50 years older and the rest of them unsettled with speculations and questions, guesses and theories.

Daniel didn’t want to think too much about what he may or may not have done over five decades trapped on the Odyssey. Human beings seek out connection and comfort in each other. He knew that he would have immersed himself in studying the accumulated knowledge of the Asgard, but eventually . . . And that was where he tried to stop thinking because no matter who or what configurations of relationships he may have engaged in, he knew that something - someone - would have been missing for all those long years.

Someone who was sitting directly across from him, idly spinning beer caps on the rough wooden table.

Sam and Teal’c had retired soon after dinner, following a day full of fishing and hiking. Jack hadn’t shown any signs of tiredness, so Daniel had stayed up too, indulging in the all-too-infrequent chance to spend some time alone with him. A game of chess, a couple more beers, and now they were sitting, quietly, conversation having given way to companionable silence.

Jack spun another cap, watching it slowly wobble to a halt. He was looking older now, sitting behind a desk aging him in ways that his years in the field never had. Some days it felt like this job was going to kill them both, one way or another.

Daniel’s sigh drew Jack’s attention. Maybe it was the beer or the feeling of familiar safety after yet another emotional rollercoaster, maybe it was his new, bizarre awareness of the passage of time, but suddenly Daniel couldn’t keep quiet anymore.

“Jack, I want to say something.”

Jack looked back down at the table and set another cap spinning. “Don’t,” he said sharply.

He stared at Jack. “What? You don’t even know . . .”

The sound of the metal cap scraping the wood as Jack slammed his hand down on top of it made Daniel wince. “Yes. I do know, Daniel. And I’m asking you not to say it.” When he looked up at Daniel, there was pain in his eyes. “Not now, please.”

Daniel sat back in his chair and took a few breaths to think. “Why not?” he asked quietly.

“Because we can’t do this, not right now. Because two months ago, the IOA wanted to kill you and I have to be in the right position to stop things like that from happening and I can’t trust anyone else to do that. Because I can’t hear you say it and not throw all of that out the window just so I can hear it over and over.”

“Oh.” Daniel hadn’t really thought over what he’d thought Jack’s reaction would be, but he was pretty sure he wouldn’t have predicted this. He hadn’t intended that this would be the start of something; he’d just wanted to get the words, the feelings, out there.

Possibly it was unfair of him to expect Jack to just hear it and go on as normal.

Jack picked up a beer bottle and got it halfway to his mouth before realizing it was empty. Putting it down with a grimace, he leaned forward. “Listen, the political climate is changing. DADT is going to be repealed. Maybe not right away, but soon. And when it is,” Jack looked directly at Daniel. “When it is, we'll meet back here first weekend afterward that we're, well you, are on world. Just you and me, here, and we'll finish this conversation.”

With that, Jack stood up. Daniel followed suit quickly and caught him before he could turn to leave with a hand on his forearm. "First weekend. I'll be here."

Jack rested his hand atop Daniel’s and nodded before heading down the hallway.


They stared at each other. Daniel stood, feeling off-balance sitting slumped on the couch, just woken, while Jack was on his feet. He examined Jack’s face, trying to figure out what Jack was thinking. He kept waiting to hear, ‘I didn't want to leave you hanging, I just came in person to say . . . I wasn’t serious / I’ve changed my mind / I’m sorry.’

But he didn't say any of those things. He just dropped his bag to the floor and stepped in close to Daniel, cupping his face in cold hands, covering his mouth with firm lips, the gentle kiss heating up rapidly as Jack’s lips and mouth and tongue made his feelings perfectly clear. When he pulled back and looked at Daniel nervously though, Daniel realized that all the fears and concerns and doubts he'd had over the past week had been echoed in Jack's mind.

In all the years since that non-conversation, in all these months since the passage of the bill, all this time waiting for the last of the court cases to be decided and for the rule book to be officially changed, they'd never talked about this. But here they both were.

Daniel smiled at Jack, running a thumb over his cheekbone, searching his face, learning it again. He wanted so much: he wanted to rip Jack's clothes off and fuck right here in front of the fire; he wanted to sleep curled together, skin to skin; he wanted to stay up all night, just kissing, touching, looking. But mostly, he wanted to say, "I love you, Jack," so he did.

"I love you, Daniel." Jack's answer was almost lost as Daniel tilted his head for another kiss, slow and deep and wet, tongues gently stroking, breathing in Jack's moan. He pushed under Jack's coat and ran his hands across his chest and around to rub up and down his back, to hold him tightly.

In a way, Daniel got everything he wanted, as they slowly stripped down over the next hour, gently exploring with hands and mouths. Daniel discovered that Jack loved it when Daniel ran his fingers through the graying hair on his chest; Jack was fascinated by Daniel's arousal response to having his wrists licked and sucked. They laid blankets out on the floor in front of the fire and slowly, lovingly brought each other to orgasm as they lay there, gasping each other's name. Then they dozed for a while, sated and warm, before waking to begin all over again.

The first rays of dawn shone through the window and they were still lying there: Jack on his back, one arm curled around Daniel, half on top of him, absently tracing gate symbols on Jack's chest. Jack made a contented sound and moved his hand to run through Daniel’s hair. “You have no idea how good that feels,” he murmured.

Daniel smiled, craning his neck to look Jack in the eyes. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do this.” He rested his head back on Jack’s shoulder, pressing a soft kiss to his neck.

“Was it hard for you? Waiting?”

Daniel closed his eyes. Oh god, there were too many layers to that question. ‘Did I make the right call?’ ‘Was there someone else while you waited?’ ‘Was it worth it?’

“It was,” lonely, sad, perfunctory “This is better. Now. Here. I like this.” He didn’t want to let Jack take the burden of the loneliness of the past few years onto himself. There would be time later to share the details, talk about the past, commiserate and laugh and cry. Time later to make plans about careers and travel and how they would make this work.

Now was for now.

Jack’s smiling lips kissed the top of Daniel’s head. “Yeah. This is better.”

This entry was originally posted at http://magickmoons.dreamwidth.org/8277.html.
robin goriginalrahrah on March 2nd, 2013 12:36 pm (UTC)
'Now was for now'. This was awesome. Thank you!
magickmoons: jackmagickmoons on March 2nd, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Now.
Thank you! 'Now' is a very good time for them :)