The Fallen Angel
A story by Pip.
Rating: PG-13 for some colorful language.
Season: Based during S.7, before Evolution.
Spoilers: The Movie, COtG, Need, The Devil You Know, Menace,Meridian, Revelations, Abyss,Fallen
A/N: This is just something I wrotea few weeks ago when I was at my mom's work. I didn't have any of the stuff from my other story, I couldn't work on that. I'm gonna start up on that story again, its just I was having total computer problems. This is something to tie you over til then. Hope you all enjoy.
"Jack, where are we going?" Daniel asked in a tired tone.
Jack looked over at the man sitting in the passanger seat. Daniel not only sounded exhausted, he also looked the part.
"What?" Daniel asked, catching Jack's look.
"You look like shit." Jack confessed to his friend.
"Yeah, well." Daniel smiled sarcastically. "Spraining your ankle while offworld, then having to walk miles in the rain to the gate can do that to one."
"Yeah, I know." Jack continued down the road he'd turned onto.
"So?" Daniel pushed.
"So?" Jack countered.
"Where are we going? Your house, as I recall, is back the other direction." Daniel turned, and pointed behind them.
"When did you become such a smartass?" Jack tried changing the subject, but Daniel was no fool, and he picked up on the attempt immediately.
"JACK!" he said exasperated.
Jack made a quick glance at his friend, and finally said in a low tone, "There's just something I need to do, okay?"
Daniel looked at Jack. If his tone hadn't been enough to convince Daniel, the look in Jack's eyes sure did. "Okay." he replied. Daniel couldn't imagine what Jack needed to do, but it must be important.
Jack turned the truck onto a gated road. This place had always given him an eerie feeling, but the rain that had started to fall made it just downright creepy.
He brought the vehicle to a stop right at the beginning of a path leading off the right side of the road. He'd walked the path many times in the past, the first time being one of the hardest things he'd ever done. It had been over two years since he'd been. Looking past Daniel out the passanger window, Jack sighed.
He looked at Daniel, and a quick smile came to his face. The archaeologist had fallen asleep not long before they'd arrived. Jack just hoped Daniel wouldn't wake up while they were here.
Quietly, he zipped his jacket, and opened the door. He quickly made his way around the truck, and with one last glance at Daniel to be sure he was still asleep, Jack started his way down the path.
A loud crash of thunder brought Daniel out of his sleep. "Damn rain." he muttered, slowly opening his eyes. He looked around, trying to remember where he was.
'Okay, we we're going SOMEWHERE.' he thought. ' WE, as in me and Jack.' "Okay, I'm in Jack's truck, but where is that?" he voiced out loud. The windows were fogged up from the rain, so he couldn't see his surroundings.
Daniel wiped his hand across the passenger window, and looked out, Through the rain, he could make out a path shaded by trees, and on both sides of the path, there were more walkways, and shapes that appeared to be...
"Headstones? A cemetery?" Daniel seemed lost. "Why would Jack need to come..." Daniel stopped. It suddenly hit him. He sat back in his seast, and laid his head back, closing his eyes. Sighing, he voiced to the empty truck in an understanding tone.
Jack knelt down in front of the headstone, and brushed the dirt and leaves from the engraved letters.
"Hey kid." he said. "Long time since my last visit." his tone was low and sad. "Sorry I was away so long, but, ya know, Dad lost his best friend last year, and it hurt him almost as bad as when you left."
Jack looked at the ground. "He's back, though." he said with a quick smile. "Yep, Daniel came back." he almost laughed at how absurd this must seem.
"I never thought I could miss anyone as much as I miss you. I never realised how much that damn kid meant to me until it was too late."
Jack was trying to hold back the sea of emotions on the verge of breaking free.
"He's here with me now, back in the truck. Didn't plan on that, but its okay. Its comforting to know he's there, safe. Not like you Charlie."
Slowly, the tears began to fall.
"I still haven't forgiven myself for what happened I was such an idiot. Should have known better, but, I didn't. You'd be fifteen today, if I hadn't been such a dumbass. I tried to make up for it, in some form, with Daniel. When I first met the man, he just seemed so lost, after losing his wife, his family. I knew where he was coming from. And, for a while there, I thought I was making a difference. It really hit me that this guy needed me with the whole sarcophugus incident. He was really lost then." Jack couldn't help but smile, even though Daniel's whole addiction thing wasn't a very pleasent memory. "But, not surprisingly, I failed with Daniel too." he dropped his head. "Our friendship was on its way out, especially after that whole Reese thing. I never got a chance to talk to him about that, when, he went off, and did his hero thing."
The tears that had stopped, started to fall again, blending with the rain.
"One of the hardest things I've ever had to live through. Watching him die such a horrible death like he did. I don't even know if Daniel remembers it now, but, i sure as hell do. And, ofcourse, me being such the ass that I am, couldn't even tell him how much i appreciated him. Then, he asked me to let him go, and I did. Refused to mourn his death, ascension...whatever. Couldn't admit to anyone that i missed him THAT much. When he left, I didn't feel like a good enough friend to mourn. All i felt like was his CO. Thats how bad i made things. Same with you.." Jack took a deep breath. "Always pissing the ones I love most off before they go. But, at least with Daniel, I get a second chance. Not the same with you, Charlie. I blew my only opportunity to be a father, and, once again, I think I'm blowing it with Daniel. I refuse to let him in again...i'm scared, i guess." Jack looked to the sky. He couldn't go on.
Jack finally stood, his knees painfully popping in protest. He placed a hand on his son's headstone. "Well, Happy Birthday, Charlie."
Jack turned to see Daniel leaning against a tree just behind him. Jack shook his head, and looked everywhere, but at Daniel.
"How long have you been standing there?" he asked Daniel, trying to regain his composure of tough colonel, who won't let anyone in.
Daniel shifted slightly against the tree, and looked at Jack in the way no one else would. "Does it matter?" he replied.
"Yes, it does matter! How much did you hear?" Jack shot back quickly, failing at regaining any composure.
Daniel shook his head in the way he did. "Enough." he answered, his voice understanding. Jack just wanted to run away. He hated facing his feelings, and everyone knew that, Daniel especially. But Daniel was, and had been the only one balsy enough to confront him about them. Ofcourse, there had been times when Daniel had pushed too far, and had almost gotten the crap beat out of him for it. But, even despite those few occasions, the man never regretted it, and Jack had always appreciated it in the long run.
But, never in all the years since they'd know each other, had Jack confessed how much Daniel actually meant to him. At least, not in too many words, and that seemed to be enough for Daniel. But, this time, he'd heard it all, and that had Jack scared.
He turned his back to Daniel, and walked a few steps. He dropped his head, and ran his hand through his soaked hair. He could feel Daniel's eyes boring into his back. This only aggrivated him more, and he spun on his heels, and screamed. "Dammit Daniel! I thought you were asleep." Daniel however, never flinched.
"I was. The storm woke me up." he answered honestly ." I was debating whether or not to leave you alone. I realised why we were here, and know how you like your privacy in these things." Jack glared his direction. "But, i came anyways, and I'm glad i did."
"Eavesdropping, Daniel. Thats what you were doing. You had no right to come down here." Jack moved extremely close to Daniel, anger dripping off every word. "You should have stayed in the goddamn truck!"
Daniel just stared at Jack. Jack couldn't bare looking in the man's eyes, and turned away quickly. "No, I did have a right, as your friend, Jack. Don't ask me how, but, I KNEW i needed to be here."
"Don't give me that bullshit. You just always need to know whats going on, so you brought your ass down here to find out." Jack's mouth was running away with itself, and he regretted the words as they came out. 'Great, just drive him away more.' he thought to himself.
Daniel watched as Jack mentally beat himself up over the words. He sighed, and called to his friend. "Jack..."
"Go Away Daniel." Jack fired in an aggrivated tone.
"You know your a real stubborn asshole!" Jack tried again to get Daniel to just leave him alone.
"Jack..." Daniel said for a third time. He wasn't going anywhere. Jack seriously needed him now. And, he was starting to get to him.
"Stop it, Daniel." Jack's anger was beginning to fade, being replaced by the emotions he'd tried so desperately to hide over the years.
"Stop what, Jack?" Daniel laughed a little bit. "What am i doing?" he pushed. He could see Jack was on the edge of breaking, and he'd be ready for the fall.
"Just...STOP!" Jack yelled, his voice choked with emotion. "Stop trying to be such a good friend to me. I don't deserve you as a friend. I never have, and never will. Stop feeling like you have to fix me, because your my FRIEND. I should be trying to fix you, i've done such a wonderful job fucking you up. Now I know why I wasn't meant to have a son. YOur the goddamn proof. I would have fucked up Charlie like I did you! I don't deserve you as a best friend, and I never deserved Charlie as a son!" Jack's wall finally seemed to crumble around him, and as the tears started to fall rapidly, so did Jack, his knees giving out beneath him.
Daniel, who hadn't moved from his place against the tree during the entire ordeal, was instantly at Jack's side, helping ease Jack to the ground. Despite Jack being the strong fit man that he was, in Daniel's arms, he felt weak. He immediately welcomed the physical contact, and embraced Daniel in a weak hug, clinging to the man with all he had.
Daniel returned the embrace. He'd never seen Jack so vunerable in all the time that he'd known him. He did the only thing he could. He comforted his friend the same way Jack had comforted him in the past.
"I'm here, Jack. Its okay, let it out." Daniel placed a hand on the back of Jack's head, and Jack started to cry into Daniel's shoulder. And, all the years that the emotions had been locked away, since the death of Charlie, were set free.
Finally, Jack started to calm. Daniel released his strong hold on the man, and fell back on his ass infront of Jack. "Okay, now that you got that out...FINALLY." he said, keeping his voice sincere. Jack laughed a bit, but never looked at Daniel.
"Jack, look at me." Daniel said in a stern, but compassionate tone. Jack obeyed, and, finally looked at Daniel. "First off, don't be embarrassed about what just happened, because, despite what you might think, YOU ARE HUMAN." he smiled when he got a smirk from Jack.
"Secondly, don't ever think you never deserved Charlie. From everything I've ever heard about you, and about him, you were always meant to be a father. I've seen the way you are with kids. It comes natural to you.What happened wasn't your fault. It was nobody's fault. I know you'll probably always blame yourself, and thats only natural. BUT dont you dare think you didn't deserve him." Jack looked at the headstone not far from where they sat.
"Now, about fucking me up..." Daniel chuckled. "I know for a fact you had no hand to play in that. I've been messed up since before I met you, believe me. If anything, I'm a better person since meeting you. You gave me my life back, after the first trip to Abydos. Then again, after the second trip to Abydos. I doubt theres any archaeologist out there with my qualifications, my experience, all of which I can thank YOU for. You've always been there for me, whether I wanted you to be or not. And, I appreciate that. I've always thought I never deserved a friend like you. That i wasn't good enough to be your friend. But you helped me believe that I was good enough, that despite what everyone might say, my life was worth it. Ofcourse, it took dying a few times, then ascension for me to finally realise it. You know how damn stubborn I am."
Jack was finally starting to collect himself, and said "Thats for damn sure."
Daniel smiled. "I started out a innocent, naive, clueless dweeb. Now look at me."
Jack shook his head, and really laughed. "Oh great, I've turned you into a sarcastic, smartass."
"Jack, I was always a smartass, you just helped me perfet the skill." Daniel said mischieviously.
"Well, at least your less accident-prone now. But, that stubborness, no matter what i put you through, just hasn't changed." Jack said with mock exasperation. Daniel's smile widened. Turning serious, Jack continued "Which i'm extremely glad it didn't. Thank you."
"Just returning whats been givin so many times before." Daniel replied. He placed a hand on Jack's knee, and said "You are the greatest friend a guy can have."
Jack pulled him into a hug, and answered. "Same to you Spacemonkey."
They released each other, and sat in silence. Jack looked over at his son's grave. He considered not saying anything, but, Daniel deserved the right to know, especially after this whole ordeal.
"He'd be fifteen today, ya know. " Daniel listened as Jack talked. "I can't even imagine what he'd look like now. I just feel so responsible for what happened. I know, I shouldn't blame myself, but...he didn't even get a chance to live. I'll never be able to teach him how to drive, the right tips for picking up girls. I'll never be able to share that first beer with him, watch him graduate, get in a good fight with him, then make up with him afterwards. I'll never have a daughter-in-law now, all because I left my gun somewhere he could get to it."
"Jack, now, i know this may seem...uhh, blunt, but, did Charlie know about the dangers of guns?" Daniel asked.
"Ofcourse!" Jack replied immediately. "Its one of the first things i taught him. I always enforced gun safety on him."
"So, he knew they were dangerous, and yet, being only a child, he was curious." Daniel finished off the thought.
"Yeah, I guess." Jack said, only have believing the idea.
"Well, i wish I could have met him, if he was anything like his father."
"He was a great kid, really." Jack had a sadness to his voice.
"I'm sure." Daniel turned to the grave, and said in a sincere tone "Happy Birthday Charlie."
"Daniel..." Jack looked at his friend.
"Hmm?" Daniel looked back.
"I'm really glad you came. I'm happy i can share this with someone now. I never even asked Sara to come with me. It was just too much..." Jack didn't know how to put it.
"Jack, I'm honored, really." Daniel knew jack was struggling with his feeling again. He was just happy he'd finally been let back inside Jack's wall, which was quickly rebuilding.
"Okay, i don't know about you, but, I'm ready to go home." Jack said, quickly getting to his feet, reaching a hand to help Daniel up.
Daniel looked up at him. The man who he'd comforted just a while ago was gone, and in his place was the Jack O'neill he'd known for so many years. 'Yep, that walls back.' he thought with a smile, knowing he'd finally gotten to Jack. He accepted the hand. As he rose, he put pressure on both his legs, and was reminded of his ankle. Daniel cried out in pain, almost collapsing back down to the ground, if it wasn't for Jack's strong hold on him. He helped ease both of them to the ground.
"God dammit!" he whispered in a pained voice, his breathing labored from the pain the movement had caused.
Jack knelt down, and put his free hand on Daniel's back. His other was being squeezed to death, but he didn't mind. "Guess we both forgot about that ankle, eh?"
"No Shit." Daniel replied.Jack laughed, and patted his friends back. Daniel's vocabulary always reduced to the most colorful words when he was in pain.
"Relax, Daniel." Jack soothed.
"Relax? That hurt like..." Daniel turned to look at Jack, and saw that Jack was only trying to comfort him. "Sorry, but, it really fucking hurts now."
"Obviously..." Jack replied. "You ready to get up?" he asked.
"If I must..." Daniel wrapped his arm around Jack's shoulder.
"Yeah, unless you wanna sit in a cemetary, while its raining, and getting dark, i think you must." Jack groaned as he pulled the both of them to a stand. Daniel eased his foot to the ground, and winced as they started limping back towards the truck.
"You walked all the way down here like this?" Jack asked now realising how Daniel got down there.
"Not like this." Daniel answered in a smartass tone.
"You know what i meant, smartass."
"Yeah...i kinda ignored the pain. Just felt like you needed me." Daniel winced as he took another step.
"Great, well, now your gonna get me in trouble with the doc. She'll think i'm mistreating my patient." They had finally made it up to the truck. Jack released Daniel, who leaned heavily against the vehicle.
"Promise me a warm dry place to stay, and a very BIG extremely alcoholic drink when we get there, and she'll never know." Daniel said, opening the passanger door.
With Jack's help, he finally got in the cab of the truck. "Oh, yeah, lets give you booze, so you really won't be able to walk." Jack replied, standing looking at Daniel.
"Yes." Daniel gave Jack a tired look. "Its been a long day. I've fallen down slopes, sprained my ankle, and been rained on more then half the day. Now, I just wanna go back to your warm dry house, lay on your warm dry couch, maybe watch some tv."
Jack cut in. "Oh, theres a hockey game on tonight."
"I don't care what we watch." Daniel continued. "As long as I can get very drunk, very fast."
"So, if I let you drink, you'll watch the game?" Jack teased.
"Jack, I'd watch the game without the alcohol, if it hadn't been the day from hell. I seriously need a drink. Like, soon. Lets go." Daniel tried to close the door, but Jack pulled it back open. He taunted Daniel some more.
"So, whats your saying is..."
"Okay, okay. I'm only kidding. If you wanna get plowed, be my guest." Jack closed the door, and walked around to the other side of the truck, and climbed in. "But, you already are my guest, seeing as you can't walk, or drive." He smiled as Daniel rolled his eyes. He started the engine, and pulled the truck out of the cemetary.
"Yes! What a shot! Hey Danny, did you see that?" Jack asked, bouncing in his seat on the couch with excitement as his team scored. He would have jumped up, if Daniel wasn't leaning against him with all his weight, his head resting on Jack's shoulder. He wasn't kidding about very drunk, very fast. Jack had to admit though, being on his fourth beer of the evening, he too, was kinda tipsy.
"Oh, I think I saw it, but...I'm not sure." he slurred to Jack, snickering. He took another big sip of his Jack and coke, his third one of the night, more Jack Daniel's and less coke with each glass. He wasn't making the drinks, but, he was extremely happy with the results.
Jack laughed, and patted Daniel on the leg. "Our team just scored." he said, also taking a drink.
"Kinda figured that since, ya know, by the ride you just gave me jumping around like that." he was munchin on an ice cube, making his speech even more impared
"Well, if you weren't leanin on me, it wouldn't happen." Jack fired back.
"What can i say, your comfy."
"And, your drunk."
"Oh god, i really hope thats what this is." Daniel replied, ever the smartass. Jack smiled. Even now, Daniel's razor sharp wit never faultered. The phone on the table next to Jack started ringing before he had a chance to answer.
"Hello." Jack answered it.
"Hey Sir." came his 2IC's voice.
"Hey Sam!" Daniel shouted so she could hear him.
"Well, Daniel sounds...very drunk." Sam laughed, knowing what kinda of day they all had.
"Extremely. He's swimming in Jack and coke right now." Jack laughed along with her.
"I'm not that drunk." Daniel tried to sit up, but, both his ankle being propped up on a pillow, and the alcohol in his system caused him to fall back onto Jack, laughing. "Okay, maybe I am." he finished off his glass.
"No maybe, buddy. Your shit faced." Jack answered.
"So, i'm guessing everythings good." Sam asked.
"Yep, just peachy, why?" Jack replied.
"Well, its just when you left the base today, you seemed kinda out of it." Jack could hear the concern in her voice,
"Yeah, I was. Today is Charlie's birthday." He could feel Daniel looking at him.
"Oh." Was Sam's only response.
"But, its all good now. Its been taken care of properly, and now, me and Danny Boy are sitting here watching the game." Jack didn't want to dwell on the earlier events of the day.
"Trying to at least. I need a refill, by the way." Daniel thrust the glass up towards Jack's face.
"Okay, but, only one more. Your plenty drunk now, we don't want you getting sick." Jack took on the father tone he often did with Daniel.
"Sounds Good." Daniel let himself fall to the couch as Jack got up to refill his glass.
"So Carter, wanna join us?" Jack asked her, walking into the kitchen. "I mean, you had just as rough a day, come and hang. Daniel's great entertainment."
"I HEARD THAT!" Daneil yelled from the living room.
"Am I lying?" He yelled back, but couldn't hear Daniels response because Sam started talking.
"Actually, Sir. I think I might just stop by. It has been a long day, but, why not?"
"Great, see you soon." With that, Jack hung up the phone. He could hear daniel laughing, and could only imagine what about. As Jack started his way back towards the den, a breeze brushed across him. He stopped, and let it encompass him. It felt comforting and he smiled. "I Love you too Charlie. Happy Birthday."
"Jack...its kinda boring watching this when I don't know whats going on." Daniel hollered. Jack shook his head, and headed back to his inebriated friend. As he left the room, a boy, about 15, appeared out of nowhere, and smiled. His dad didn't need him anymore. The Fallen Angel was there now to help and protect him, just like Charlie had known he would.
A/N: So, what did ya think? I wasn't sure how to end it, so, I went with a kinda ghost like thing...hope you all got the Fallen Angel reference. Anyways, thanx for reading.