A story by Pip
Summary: The light brings that old hunger for Daniel, and he comes very close to doing something drastic.
Rating: PG-13, for some bad language from our boys, and some kinda intense ideas...-they need a good little spanking. hehehe-
Season: 4, Episode Tag for The Light
Spoilers: Well, obviously The Light, and Need...i think that's all.
A/N: Just some idea that popped into my fron. The plot bunnies wouldn't leve me alone about it until I started to type it up...and, it turned into its own little monster from there. It's a demon for me because I can't seemed to be satisfied with it, but my biggest fan you know who you are! told me it was AWWWWWWW-worthy, so I guess its good to another's POV. I've always wanted to do a tag to The Light, and now I have...checks it off list I did this right on the tail of a smarm challenge fic which I'll be posting once the challenge is over...i don't think i have to wait to post it...i just don't have the time...and, i think its the right thing to do. And now, just today, after finishing this fic yesterday, I got another fic idea...sheesh...these damn bunnies. Okay, i swear...i'll let you read the story now...
Lying still on his cot, Jack watched with sympathy as Daniel continued to try and find a comfortable position for sleep. Nothing seemed to be working because, after five minutes of lying one way, the archaeologist would shift again.
The Colonel knew his younger friend wasn't handling the withdrawal from the light too well. It wasn't as bad a slipping into a coma, or death, but Daniel was restless. Jack had an idea as to why, but still he continued to just lie on his cot, and watch. It ate at his heart, but his pride and temper kept him in his bed.
The two had been arguing almost non-stop for the past week, and they still had two weeks left to go in this 'pleasure' palace. Jack refrained from sighing, and cast a glance at Carter, sleeping on her own cot. He found it amazing how she'd put up with all their crap over the past few days, literally having to come between Daniel and himself the very night before. Both men had been on the verge of actual blows, when Sam had placed them in timeout on opposite sides of the room.
Ofcourse, now Jack felt like the biggest ass in the entire galaxy. He'd almost punched Daniel. If Sam hadn't stepped in when she had, Jack would have let go on the man he considered to be his best friend. But, what else was he suppose to do? Daniel had been a complete dick since Teal'c had left. He wasn't listening, would talk back constantly, and let his voice rise a little too high when anyone would even talk to him. Jack had been at his wits end with the younger man.
It'd come down to Daniel pretty much yelling at the Colonel about some stupid little thing, and Jack threatening him.
"Daniel Jackson, if you so much as glance at me in that attitude one more time, I swear I'll…" Jack clenched his fist, which Daniel saw.
The stubborn edge lingering on the border of arrogance gleamed from angry blue eyes. He walked right up to Jack, inches from the Colonel's face. "You'll what? Hit me! Is that what you'll do Colonel O'Neill?" The last part was spat at him in a hurtfully sardonic tone. It made Jack's blood run hot.
"Maybe I will, Danny." His tone matched Daniel's. The archaeologist squinted his eyes toward him.
"Fuck off!" he said in a menacing voice, turning away from Jack.
That was it. He'd had enough of this shit. Jack raised his clenched fist, completely intending to slam it into good Doc Jackson's cheek. That's when Sam stepped in.
"JACK!" she yelled, stepping between Jack's fist and Daniel. She caught Jack's arm mid swing with a fierceness he'd never seen in her. "WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM!"
Jack blinked at her, then glanced at Daniel, completely expecting a look of smug satisfaction to be spread over the young man's face. Instead, Daniel stood staring at Jack with a ghost-white look of shock and disbelief. "I, uh, I…" he tried to find a good explanation. Truth is, he really didn't have one.
"I don't give a damn what you have to say. The two of you are completely out of hand." Sam tossed Jack's arm down with disgust, and glared between the two men. Daniel had turned his face away from both of them. "Daniel, look at me dammit!"
He obeyed slowly, and met his eyes with hers.
"I'm not gonna let you two CHILDREN treat each other this way. Both of you are going to find a way to work whatever your problems are out. Until you do, I'm separating you guys, understand me?" Sam's words might have sounded silly, but both men knew she was truly pissed, and had a right to be.
"Yes." Daniel whispered, glancing momentarily at Jack. The Colonel's own reply was abruptly stopped. He no longer saw any trust towards himself coming from those blue eyes. It was all betrayal, shame, and was that defeat? Oh god, what had he done.
"Daniel…danny.." Jack voice was full of shame. He went to step past Sam, his once-clenched hand now aimed for Daniel's shoulder in a comforting manner. Daniel stepped away from the touch quickly, and made his way out of the room like some scared animal. "Daniel!" Jack called after him, starting to chase him down. A hard pull on his arm stopped him.
"Jack, don't!" Sam's voice was hard, and he looked at her. The anger in her blue eyes made him look away. "You leave him alone. I don't have any doubt about him coming to you because he definitely won't."
She let go of her death grip, and stalked past him, heading in the same direction Daniel had gone. Before exiting the room, she turned and glared at Jack some more. "I can't believe you Jack. He almost DIED this week. He almost killed himself. And now, you, his best friend, try and HIT him?"
Jack surprisingly found his voice, and he looked back at her. He wasn't taking the entire blame for this. "He's been an asshole all damn week! What else was I suppose to do!" he tried to make his voice hard, but it came out more like a plea.
"Your not suppose to try and hit him!" Sam yelled. "I know he's been completely unbearable, but you TALK to him about it." She walked back into the room. "He was relying on you, Jack. He needed you to talk to him. Don't you know what he might be going through? He unknowingly almost committed suicide. And, we're all a little on edge from this damn light."
"But, you don't see the rest of us acting that way." Jack's voice was losing more of its edge, if it had any to begin with.
"He's hurting. Can't you see it? Damn, you really are dumb!" Sam was fuming, and Jack didn't have the nerve to stop her. "I wanted to help him, but he wanted you. Haven't you noticed he fights with you more than myself and Garan? He trusts….well, TRUSTED you to see it. You've gone and screwed it up now. Jack, you may have just lost your best friend, and I can't help you."
Jack had gone over the words Sam had said to him in his head repeatedly. She was right. Daniel had been screaming out to him for help the entire time, and Jack hadn't realized it until now. Now was too late. Daniel had come back into the room a good while later, looking completely broken. Sam had talked to him too, and yelled at him about his own hand in this. Jack had heard the screaming between them drifting from down the hall. Daniel obviously hadn't lost his nerve to fight, at least for a little while. Then the screaming only fell to one voice: Sam's. And, soon, her yelling died down. It was another hour before she'd come back into the room, a sad look on her face. When Daniel returned, he'd talked to no one. He quickly moved his cot away from the vicinity of Sam and Jack's. Lying down, he'd turned his back to the two of them, and faced the wall.
So, now Jack laid watching his friend suffer, and knew that pride and temper wasn't what was holding him back. It was shame. Shame, and fear mostly. Fear that Sam's words were true. That he'd lost Daniel forever, something he couldn't bear to find out.
- - - --
Daniel sat up abruptly, a soft sob escaping past his lips. The room was stiflingly hot, and his skin gleamed with a thin layer of sweat in the pale pre-dawn light. He tried to take a deep breath, but his breathing was too labored, and all that came out was another sob. He was in complete hell. A hell that he'd have to suffer through alone, thanks to his damned temper.
He swung his legs over, and let his bare feet touch the floor. The marble was cool to the touch, something that didn't surprise Daniel. He knew it wasn't the room that was hot, but his own body. Placing his elbows on his knees, he put his damp head in his hands. Another involuntary sob came out.
He couldn't control his emotions. His body was screaming for something he was terrified to even think about. It wasn't the light it was yelling at his brain to provide. It was that one thing he had horrible dreams and sick fantasies about.
Looking across the room, Daniel was glad the cot Jack was laying in was lost in shadow. He could feel Jack looking at him. He couldn't stand looking at his friend; his former friend. What had he done, forcing Jack to decide on hitting him? He felt so ashamed at himself. And, now he was definitely suffering because of it. The thought let another small cry fly out.
Not wanting to wake Sam with his own self-torture, Daniel quickly left the room, walking onto a balcony that faced the sea.
- -- - -
Jack watched as Daniel left the room. He'd almost cried out to his friend when the younger man had looked at him. Daniel looked so lost, and defeated with himself. And yet, it was obvious he was fighting against some inner demon. What strength he had was being used to rage war within his mind, and Jack knew Daniel didn't have enough strength to do it on his own.
In that brief look, Jack hadn't seen hate directed his way. It was all focused inward. Why was Daniel feeling ashamed? What had he done to think so low of his own being? Jack was mostly at fault. God, what had he done to his poor friend?
But, something else was in that look. A last hope, you could say. Daniel was still reaching out to him; the archaeologist just hadn't known it. The small fact that Daniel had even looked at the Colonel, told Jack just that. All his own personal shame was thrown to the wind, and he tossed back his blanket, and sat up.
The room was freezing, and he pulled on his boots and jacket before getting up. Once realizing he was as warm as he could get, Jack followed after Daniel.
-- --- -
The balcony was the shape of an enormous semi-circle, with an elegant golden railing running along its edge. The beach was a mile's drop below, with its white sand sloping off slightly into the dark waters of the sea. Being so close to the water, the breeze out here was constant, and it only made the cool air even colder. The sun was getting ready to rise, the sky casting a reflection of a collage of pinks, blues, reds, oranges, yellows, and purples on the water's horizon. The beauty of the moment was lost on the two men wrapped up in its splendor.
Daniel sat with his back against the wall of the palace, arms draped carelessly over his bent knees. His eyes were closed, and he shivered in the cold wind. Jack watched him from just inside the palace, having lost his determination to confront his friend. He was debating with himself if he should go out there when Daniel's voice reached his ears.
"I know your standing there." He said in a quiet tone. Jack looked at Daniel with mild surprise. The man hadn't even opened his eyes, and Jack knew he had been as stealthy as possible. Hanging around Teal'c and himself had obviously rubbed off. The younger man had some serious tracker skills.
"Oh." Jack let his pride in his friend slip out, hoping that it would help start this inevitable conversation off. "Then I guess there's no point in me standing here."
"Guess not." Daniel still didn't move. He just continued to sit, even as Jack came to take a seat next to him.
"You okay?" Jack had to force himself not to place his hand on Daniel's shoulder. It was too soon for that he thought.
"Sure." Daniel's façade of calm faltered as his voice choked up. He fought to keep his cool, causing his face to grimace sadly.
"Daniel-" Jack's voice had no room for anything but concern at the sight of his struggling friend.
"I can't do it!" Daniel crumbled before Jack's eyes. The sobbing became immediate, and his head fell into his hands. "I can't fight this anymore Jack. I tried to…I did, and I thought I could do it, but I just can't. I can't. I'm sorry I made you want to hit me. I want to hate you for it, but I can't. You don't deserve that. You saved me. I didn't deserve it. I can't do anything anymore. I just want to end it. You should have…..you should have let me die!" He began to rock back and forth.
Jack's fear of touching Daniel vanished immediately, and he quickly grabbed his suffering friend in a fierce embrace. Daniel tried to fight him, but Jack wasn't letting go. He would never let go.
"Daniel, no! NO!" he said in a stern voice, forcing Daniel's head against his chest with his hand. Daniel pushed against it, hysterical sobs coming past his lips.
"I can't fight Jack. I just can't anymore. I want to die. Just want to die. You don't deserve me as a friend. I've failed you. I'm ashamed of what I've done. I've failed you because I can't fight this. I'm not strong like you Jack. I've failed you and I need to die because of it." Daniel pushed with all his strength to get out of the embrace he felt he didn't deserve, but Jack wouldn't have it.
"Daniel, stop it! Don't say that. Never say that." Jack's voice was raw with emotion. He felt his own tears coming to his eyes. How had he let Daniel get this low? He needed to fix this. Daniel's life was at stake.
"Let go of me!" Daniel's voice rose considerably, his strained voice in a tone of ultimate defeat. His sobs continued, as did his fighting against the friend he had never deserved. Somehow, he managed to slip free, and he began to make his way toward the balcony. He continued to mumble through his tears.
"I can't fight. I'm sorry Jack. It's so hard, too hard. I just want it to be over. I'm sorry…."
For a moment, Jack was stunned motionless at what he was seeing. Daniel had hit rock bottom, somehow, and was trying to finish what he'd started to do at his apartment. Suddenly, Jack snapped out of his stupor. In a motion faster than anything he'd ever done in his life, he had his arms back around Daniel, and began pulling him to the ground in the strongest hug. Daniel continued to fight.
"NO!" he yelled, trying desperately to break free again. But this time, Jack wasn't going to budge.
"DANIEL, STOP!" Jack gave all his strength to holding his best friend in place.
"LET ME GO!" Daniel screamed at the top of his lungs.
"NO!" Jack also yelled as loud as he could. He pulled Daniel to his chest again. "I WILL NEVER LET YOU DO THAT. I AM NOT LETTING YOU GO." He whispered harshly in Daniel's ear. "DO YOU HEAR ME DANNY! STOP FIGHTING ME!"
Though Daniel's sobs grew louder, he stopped fighting Jack. He cried into Jack's chest, the rest of his body limp in the Colonel's strong arms.
"I've failed you Jack. You believed in me, and I'm failing. I can't fight this. You don't deserve a friend like me. I'm no friend."
"No Danny." Jack rested his head against Daniel's, gently rocking. "You've never failed me. I'm so proud of you. So, so proud, Daniel. You haven't failed me."
"But you don't understand." Daniel sobbed.
"Then tell me!" Jack said loudly. "Tell me right now."
"I want it! I want it so much! My body is screaming for it Jack….screaming at me that I can go one more time. And I want to. It made me feel so good, and I loved it. I want to go one more time, just one more." Daniel grabbed a handful of t-shirt, and tried to bury himself further in Jack's chest. "And I know I shouldn't. You said I would get better, and I could fight it. I thought I could, but I can't. I want it to make the pain go away. It's eating me up. I want it Jack! Jack, please, make it stop!"
Jack sat for a second, finally understanding what had made Daniel so on edge this past week. No wonder he was being so pissy. He was going through withdrawal all over again. Not just from the light, but also from something Daniel had fought so hard to get over the first time. Daniel wanted the sarcophagus. He should have known….he did know, dammit! Jack decided to forget about what he could've done to prevent this from happening, and began to fix it.
"Okay, okay. Shhhh. I understand now, Danny. I understand." Jack hugged Daniel tighter, and bent his face to whisper in the archaeologist's ear. "You don't need that. You don't want one more time. I said you'd get better, and you are. You did fight it. I WATCHED you fight it, and you were strong. You are strong Daniel. You are so strong, and you can fight this. I was there before, and I'm here now. You don't need that thing to make the pain go away. I'm here to help you with that. You haven't failed me Daniel. I promise you haven't failed me. I'm so proud of you Danny." Tears fell from Jack's eyes into Daniel's hair.
The words seemed to hit their mark. Daniel's limp body no longer lay slack in Jack's arms as the younger man tightly wrapped his arms around the Colonel's chest. Moving his chin to rest his head on Jack's shoulder, Daniel continued to cry, using the one lifeline he had against this storm of emotions he couldn't fight alone. And he wouldn't have to.
- - - -- -
With things finally beginning to settle down, Jack helped Daniel back to their sitting position against the palace wall. Daniel rested against the older man silently, a comforting and protective arm draped across his shoulders.
"Daniel, don't you EVER do that to me again." Jack commanded quietly, his head resting on top of Daniel's.
"I'm sorry," was all Daniel said in reply.
"Tell me because I won't sleep until I'm sure…" Jack said nervously. "How serious were you when you said-"
Daniel snuggled his head into Jack's chest, and sighed with exhaustion. "I thought…I thought I made you hate me. You were going to hit me, and maybe you should have…"
"No, I never should've even considered it." Jack said quickly, feeling completely guilty.
Daniel continued on without a reply to Jack's statement. "My mind is so jumbled right now…I'm so confused about almost everything. I know I started that whole fight, and I brought it upon myself. I just….I feel…felt, I felt like I was failing you because I was letting this feeling get the better of me. I didn't feel strong. I thought I wanted to because you didn't deserve a disappointment like me as-"
"Okay, okay." Jack cut him off. He hated to hear Daniel talk about himself this way. "I get that, but I NEED to know you don't really feel like that. This was the second time you've gone off like this in a week, ya know.."
"I'm sorry Jack." Daniel whispered. "I made you angry.."
"No, you just scared the shit out of me Danny." Jack rubbed his shoulder. "Just tell me your not seriously considering something like that."
"No…not anymore." Daniel's voice was serious, and Jack whole-heartedly believed him.
"Good." He replied with a smile. "I don't know what I'd do if you did. Who would be around to give me all this lovely gray hair…" Daniel laughed quietly against his chest. "Seriously, though…" Jack paused a minute, slightly surprised he was about to admit this. He sighed, and forged on ahead, knowing Daniel needed to hear this now, more than ever. "This galaxy would be completely lost without you. I would be completely lost without you, Daniel. I have never been more proud of anyone in my entire life. You are my brother, and I love you." Jack felt Daniel's tears on his shirt.
In a shaky whisper, the younger man replied. "I love you too. And thank you."
"It's all true Danny." Looking out upon the horizon, Jack smiled some more at the splendor before him. The sun was beginning to poke its rays above the water's surface, creating a beautiful sight. Daniel was obviously noticing the scene for the first time also.
"It's beautiful…" he sighed, then shivered as the wind brushed against his bare arms and feet. "If I wasn't so cold…"
Jack's response was cut off as someone placed a blanket over them. They looked as Sam knelt down next to them.
"You should know better then to wander off without the proper supplies." She smiled warmly as she placed a hand on Daniel's cheek. "You guys mind if I join you?" Her voice had an edge of uncertainty and nervousness.
"Ofcourse not." Jack replied for the both of them. Quickly they re-adjusted, so Sam had a place to rest against Daniel, who mimicked on her the same embrace jack was giving him.
"We wouldn't experience this without you." Daniel whispered into her ear, laying his head on hers.
"You better not." She tossed back in a mocking tone of arrogance.
"Ofcourse not." Jack laughed out, and the other two joined him.
As the sun continued to cast its light and warmth upon the water, spreading its golden tendrils to the very edges of the balcony, Daniel finally let the exhaustion get the best of him. Slowly, his eyes closed. Jack and Sam continued to talk softly, and he let the sound of their voices carry him off. Sitting here, snuggled between his two closest friends, his family, he felt complete. The nagging little voice – the overwhelming feeling of need he'd felt for the past week – was fading faster. Daniel smiled as sleep took him. This was home.
A/N: Idk...there's just something about it that has me wanting to jump right back into the middle, and fix it...but, i won't if ya'll don't think I should. Should I leave it alone, and don't mess with something that isn't broken, or should I break out the good ol' Macgyver-brand tools, and patch things up? Tell me...PLEASE! Because this little demon won't rest until I know (and if your wondering why I even put it up at all if I'm not happy with it...my good friend said it was excellent, and I trust her judegment...)