Author: Debi C

Feedback: scarlet_debi@yahoo.com 

Fandom: Stargate: SG-1

Rating: NC-17 (for m/m relationship)

Pairing: Jack and Daniel.

Category: Slash. Angst. Drama. Friendship. Humor. Hurt/Comfort. First Time.

Date: May 2002

Status: Complete

Series: The Forever Series

Season/Spoilers: Season 5. Meridian, Revelations, Ascension

Archive: Alpha Gate. Area 52. TheBoy. WWOMB. Anyone else please ask.

Synopsis: This is a Meridian Fix It story. Jack and Daniel belong together...just ask them.

Notes: May everyone find a love like this one. This is dedicated to my friend Quercus.. And a meridian is an imaginary line some fool drew on a globe so I don't hold to it.

Warnings: Reference to Character death that has already occurred in Meridian. Language. Intense situations. Suicide Ideology. But don't worry, it all turns out well

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/ Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I do not own the characters and indeed am only playing with them for a little while. Jack and Daniel belong to each other. I am not making any money from this and I'm still paying for everything I own so there's very little point in suing me. No copyright infringement whatsoever is intended. The story is for entertainment purposes only. At least I hope it's entertaining. The original characters, situations and story are mine. Please check with me first if you want to archive or link to this story.


Colonel Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neill walked down the soggy dirt path to 'his' spot from the small side parking lot. The rain that had spattered his pickup's windshield had let up, but the wind that was blowing down off the Rockies still had enough moisture in it to warn of sleet later in the evening.

He was wearing the ever-present black leather jacket, jeans and hiking boots that were his normal attire when off duty. The jacket was beginning to show signs of wear, as was its owner.

Coming out of the trees he could see his destination ahead. There was a small tombstone nestled under the trees. Next to it a newer plaque gleamed from its place in the sculpted lawn. He approached the stone and placed a small 'bouquet' of fir tree branches, pine cones and holly leaves still bearing their red berries in the permanent vase attached to the headstone. The man then settled himself on the ground next to the small monument and leaned back against it, taking shelter from the wind. He sighed once and glanced at the plaque, accepting its presence here with approval if not satisfaction. He pulled a small silver flask from the jacket's pocket and looked at it. He raised it as if in a toast, then took a small drink.

"That's not going to help anything or anyone, Jack." A familiar woman's voice spoke to him from behind him. A tall, still slender middle aged woman had approached unseen from the main parking lot of the chapel.

"At this point, it's not gonna do a lot of damage either." He didn't look at her. He knew Sara's voice. His ex-wife was standing on the other side of Charlie's grave. He also knew that she was frowning at him in disapproval; he knew the expression from before when they had still been married.

"What are you doing here?" Her voice still held a touch of concern in it for him. Not enough to sound overtly caring, but enough that he could hear it.

"I'm sitting at my son's grave and my best friend's memorial." He indicated the bronze plaque five feet over. It's in my gravesite. Don't worry, I checked."

"Oh," Sara's voice grew quiet. "I wondered who that was." A pause. "Did I meet him...that time?"

Jack had to think. "Yea, probably. He was there." Jack thought back to the time he had been duplicated by the crystal life forms and his doppelganger had sought out Sarah.

"What did he look like?" She asked, not unkindly. "Which one was he?"

"Daniel? Oh, a little shorter that me, sandy brown hair, glasses. Kinda geeky looking." He closed his eyes and took another drink. 'Slender body, gentle hands, fair skin, blue eyes, beautiful lips, passionate spirit, heart of my life.'

"Yes, I think I do remember talking to him." Her voice continued. "He seemed like a nice person."

He almost laughed, except if he started laughing... he'd never stop crying. "Yea, that would be him."

"What happened, Jack?"

"We were on a mission. It went bad. He…died."

"His bod...he's not really here then."

"No." Jack shook his head. "He's not really here."

"Oh." Silence. She came around to his side of the grave so he could see her. He didn't looke up. "You need to go home, Jack. You'll make yourself sick."

"Yea. I suppose, you're probably right." She usually was, he remembered.

In the distance he heard a man's voice. He was calling Sara's name. Jack didn't recognize the voice but it didn't matter. At least she had someone to call her, to care for her. He was glad.

"Jack, I have to go now." She sounded worried about him. "You will be careful won't you?"

"Sure Sara." He assured her. "I'll just stay a little while longer. It'll be okay."

"If you're sure. Goodbye Jack." He didn't answer her, but he heard her footsteps as she walked away on the gravel path. He took another small sip and allowed the bourbon to burn it's way down his throat. Goodbye Sara. He leaned his head back against Charlie's tombstone and closed his eyes.

******* Something was bothering him. He was being shaken by a buzzing, annoying, electronic sounding whine. He opened his right eye and looked around. Damn he was cold. Oh, there it was...the noise. Evening had fallen and the security light had kicked on. It was an annoying buzz. Damn it was loud.


"What!" Couldn't people just leave him alone? He was in a damned graveyard for crying out loud and people were still bitching at him.

"Jack! Wake up. Please." He knew that whine too.

"Go away, Daniel." He fumbled around in his coat. Where'd that flask go to anyway?

"Jack, you've got to get up." The voice was persistent and continued to nag at him. At least it was in character. If you hear imaginary voices, you should be consistent. "You're too cold, it's getting dark and you'll be sick."

"Daniel, you and my ex-wife have the same problem...sort of." He spoke out loud. There wasn't anyone here to hear him anyway. "You are always right." He found the flask lying next to him on the muddy ground. "She was right this afternoon and now you're right right now." He picked it up, unscrewed the cap and took a good swallow.

"Good, at least you admit that I'm right this time."

"Danny, more often than not, you were right then too." He shook his head to clear it. "But being right didn't help you then and it won't help you now." He looked around as if searching for something. "Where you at, Danny? Used to be when I was drunk, I could see all kinda things."

"I don't doubt it."

"You know, Danny-boy, even your ghost is snarky." Jack shook his head. "Hasn't Omydressup taught you the manners I failed to?"

"No, Jack, she hasn't." The patient voice answered. "There are some things even Mother Nature can't fix."

"Don't I know it!"

"Jack, why are you here alone?"

"Cause nobody wants to put up with me anymore." He said almost sounding proud of his accomplishment in the overt art of disaffection. "And it's almost Thanksgiving and everybody has somewhere to be."

"What about you?"

"I'm where I wanta be...I'm here with my two boys...guys. Sorry."

"That's okay Jack. I would have been honored to be your son."

"Have you seen Charlie?" He tried to change the direction of this imaginary conversation

"Jack," the voice spoke softly. "Jack, I'm not dead...I'm not with Charlie, or Sha'uri. Remember. I'm with..."

"Yea, sorry, it gets a little confusing after a while." He thought a minute. "Are you with Shi'fu?"

"Occasionally. He teaches me things."

"Yea, I remember him teaching you things. Scared the shit out of me then too." He looked around. "Do you see, what's his name? Carter's friend?"

"Once or twice. His name's Orlin." A pause. "You should tell her he's all right. I don't think she knows for sure."

"Yea, right. Hey, Carter. Daniel dropped by this weekend. We had some drinks. Well, I did anyway. Danny says your friend Orlin sends his love." Jack laughed sadly. "Oh, yea. Back to Mackenzie's little office, do not pass go...do not collect two hundred dollars."

"Mackenzie's office? Why?"

"Oh, you know my normal stuff. Playing with loaded guns, drinking too much and getting loaded, talking to dead-again-Danny in the graveyard while I sit here getting shit-faced while leaning on my kid's tombstone." Jack finished the flask's contents. "You know little personality quirks like that."

"Jack, what are you trying to do?" The voice reflected concern.

"Why, Danny-boy. I'm trying to get all my shit in one sock." He thought a moment. "I've got my will made out, my retirement papers in, my replacement almost trained. I'm going to the cabin and there, well… I'm thinking of a boating accident." Jack reflected on it again. "Yea, that way they can't renag….renee…welch on my insurance." He chuckled. He was proud of this part. "I'm leaving it all to Janet and Cassie…for a college fund."

"Jack, what are you saying?" Now there was disbelief in the voice. "You can't do that!"

"Sure I can…why the hell not?" He demanded of the disembodied Danny-voice. "At least something would come of my less than sterling life other than death and destruction." He felt around his coat pockets and pulled out a cigarette. He searched for a lighter and couldn't find one. "Shit."

"Jack. What the hell are you doing?"

"Trying to light my damn smoke…okay." He shook his head, and wiped his face with his free hand. It came away wet. Must be raining again.

"Jack, you can't give up." The voice was pleading.

"Why the hell not? You tell me! Why the fuck not!" He raised his voice, angry at last. "What have I ever won in the great crapshoot of life? Do you know how many people I've killed destroyed and ruined? Well, I don't. I can't even count them all! I tried…I tried one night. I came up with fifty and couldn't remember which ones were which. And that's only countin' the human ones…not even the aliens that we meet through the gate, the Jaffa, the Gould, Hell, Danny, that's only counting the ones that I knew their names."


"I knew their names, Danny." He insisted. "Do you know who they were?"

"Jack, please."

"Nice people…people who deserved to live…to grow up…have babies…or see them raised…Frank Cromwell, Charlie Kowalski... "

"Jack, don't…"

He kept going. "Jim Garrett, Sam Evans, Shamud, Ruffa, Charlie O'Neill, Sha'uri Jackson, Robert Rothman, Martouff, Aldwin, Narim, that kid, Elliot, Daniel Jackson…" He threw the cigarette down, put his clasped hands behind his head and pulled it to his knees. "I don't know why I'm still alive," He remarked casually. "I'm the one who should be dead…not you…not them…not Charlie!" The tears had finally started to fall, running down his cheeks, soaking into his already damp jeans.

Jack felt a soft hand press down on his hair. "Jack, please, stop this."

"You're not real. You're gone. Leave me the fuck alone."

"I am real. I'm not gone, I'm right here. I can't leave you alone." Daniel's voice spoke, pleading. "Look at me Jack."

"No, it's a lie. I'm drunk. You're not really here. Go away, Danny. Please, I can't do this anymore." He squeezed his eyes shut tight and started a small rocking motion. "Please, don't make me do this anymore."

Daniel stood in front of his friend, looking down at him sadly. This was going to be very difficult. Harder than anything he'd attempted since he had ascended. And he wasn't all that certain that it was the correct action. But he was sure that if he left Jack here now it would have tragic consequences.

He closed his eyes and concentrated. Daniel reached into himself and pulled a fine thread of power and willed it into his friend's sad, tired mind. Jack's essence responded to him like a miserable, lost child; embracing him completely, trustingly. Then Daniel took control of O'Neill's body.

It sort of felt like driving the MALP with its automatic control box. He pulled the older man's body up from where he had been sitting for the last several hours in the cold, misty rain. Daniel could feel the stiffness and pain in Jack's knees and legs as he walked Jack's body to the big pickup parked in the small side parking lot. That wasn't too hard. However, getting him into the truck, manipulating the keys and driving the vehicle to O'Neill's home was the difficult task. It turned out that Jack, being more than a little drunk and unable to resist, had actually made his job much easier. His friend lacked the energy and the inclination to resist Daniel's efforts on his behalf.

Luckily, due to the late hour or possibly the weather, traffic was very light and he didn't have to cope with that along with the driving of Jack to drive the truck. In due time and with great deliberateness the Ford F250 pulled into O'Neill's driveway. If anyone was watching, they would have seen Jack O'Neill slowly and carefully exit his truck, walk up his sidewalk and go into his house. Those who cared would probably remark on the change in the man and hope he would be happier after he retired and could devote himself to other more enjoyable pursuits than his military career had been for him.

Daniel would have liked to orchestrate a hot shower for Jack, but his energy level was beginning to fade and he didn't think he could manage it. He did get his friend as far as his bed and managed to get him to pull off his muddy boots and outer garments before laying him down and making him cover himself with the comforter. As he withdrew his control from Jack, he could only look longingly at his beloved friend. This had to stop...and soon.


The following morning Jack woke up groggily. He glanced around in confusion. He was on his bed all right, but he wasn't in bed. He was on top of the bedspread with a comforter thrown over him. His dirty clothes and boots were lying on the floor beside it and he was only wearing his boxers and tee shirt. Add to that he was sticky, grimy and his mouth tasted like someone had marched through it with hobnailed boots on.

He managed to get to his feet and staggered into the bathroom. Turning on the shower so that the water would get hot, he stripped, urinated in the bowl and then looked at himself in the mirror. Shit, he looked like death warmed over. After testing the water, he stepped into the small cubicle and stood there while the steaming hot shower slowly cleared his head of the cobwebs that had clouded his mind concerning yesterday's actions.

Jack remembered driving to the cemetery. He remembered talking to Sara and her warning him about sitting out in the damp cold and drinking. Then things got a bit lost as in no recollection whatsoever of a period of several hours.

His next memory was as clear as if he were reliving it now. The irritating buzz of the security light, and that voice, Daniel's voice, sounding very concerned and a bit disappointed. Jack remembered talking to his lost friend as if he were there. How he'd explained his plan to retire and go up to his cabin in Minnesota, how he'd left everything to Janet Fraiser and Cassandra in his will. Then, when things got too much for him he could have a boating accident or something equally innocuous and it would all be over and he wouldn't have to remember and regret and dream of all of his fucking failures any more. Then he had evidently passed out again.

But how had he gotten home? Surely he hadn't driven in such a bad state as not to be able to remember the trip home. God, was he that bad off? While he had no great attachment to his own life, he surely wouldn't have put anyone else at risk on purpose. No, he definitely had to be more careful in the future.

After getting out of the shower he pulled on some sweats and wandered out into the living room and to the kitchen. His keys were lying on the table, not on the counter, his usual dumping place for them. In fact only one person he knew left his keys on his table. And that person hadn't been around to drive the truck for six months. Jack stared at the key ring as if it were alive and had walked there itself. Finally, he shook his head at his foolishness and hung them back up where they belonged above the counter.

After making himself a cup of coffee and thinking on his experiences of yesterday, O'Neill made a command decision. He called Carter.

After dialing Cheyenne Mountain and waiting a few moments, he heard his second in command pick up her receiver. "Major Carter."

"Carter, this is O'Neill."

"Yes, sir. What can I do for you?" Her voice sounded mystified. She knew he was on leave for the holidays and hadn't expected him to be in town. He'd lied to her about going to visit some old friends, knowing that it was the only way she wouldn't be bird-dogging him, keeping an eye on him.

"I hate to bother you on Thanksgiving eve, but…"

"Colonel, its no bother." She assured him convincingly. He almost believed her.

"Carter, could you come over sometime today or this evening…whenever it's convenient for you?"

"Sure, sir. I was leaving a little early this afternoon anyway so I'll just drop by on my way to Janet's."

"That'd be good. I'll be home all day." He hung up the phone and determined to find something to eat in his neglected kitchen.


Three o'clock PM the doorbell rang. O'Neill opened it and discovered Sam Carter standing there with a curious look on her face. He stepped back and she entered, the two friends headed towards the living room area. She stood by the sofa and Jack headed into the kitchen area. "Do you want a coke, a beer, wine cooler, anything?"

"A coke would be good, sir. Thanks." She looked around the familiar room, noting some changes that had occurred. There seemed to be more books in attendance. Closer examination revealed them to be some of Daniel's older, more valuable volumes. Some pictures had been removed, and replaced with others. One in particular stood out. It was of Daniel and Sha'uri on Abydos. She'd had it made from one of the original videotapes from that first mission where they had returned in search of the aliens that had attacked the SGC. It had been sheer accident that she had caught the young couple in an intimate pose, Daniel had his arm around his bride and they were exchanging a romantic look. Sam had found the frame while reviewing the tape later at her lab and she couldn't resist making him a copy of it. He had been so grateful for her little thoughtfulness. Daniel had been so easy to make happy with the least little thing.

The Colonel came back in carrying her coke and his beer. He handed it to her, smiling sadly. "That's such a good picture of them."

"Yes, sir."

"He really loved it."

"I know." They both stood there and looked at the picture of their absent friend and teammate. "He really loved her."

"Yes, yes he did." O'Neill turned and touched her on the shoulder. "I really didn't bring you here to torture you with Daniel stories, but…I just might have to."

"What do you mean, Sir?" She followed him to the couch and sat down next to him.

"Carter, Sam, I want to ask you a question then I need to tell you about something that happened to me yesterday."

"Okay." She waited curiously as she watched him take a deep breath and frame the question carefully.

"When did you first notice Orlin?"

She frowned. "Orlin?"

He looked at her anxiously. "Yea, Orlin, your friendly alien. That was his name, right?"

She nodded hesitantly. "Well, yes. But I didn't think you even knew his name, much less remembered it." She looked at him suspiciously. "What does he have to do with anything?"

"Just wait. Here's what happened to me." He started on his story, of going to the gravesite and seeing the memorial plaque had been installed. Jack told her of talking to his ex-wife and finally his falling asleep leaning against his son's tombstone. Then finally, the conversation he seemingly had with Daniel.

Sam Carter watched with dismay as this man whom she admired above all others, her only real hero admitted that he spent a lonely night sitting and drinking next to the two graves of his lost boys. She felt the tears gather in her eyes and her heart broke for his sorrow. Then O'Neill said something that shocked her.

"Then Daniel said that he wasn't with Charlie and Sha'uri, he was with Omadressup and Shi'fu. And he said I should tell you that Orlin was all right and that they've talked about you." Jack looked at her earnestly. "Sam, that's how I knew his name. Daniel told me." He looked at her. "You know damn well that I wouldn't have remembered it otherwise." He smiled at her. "Besides, I have other proof."

Sam wanted to believe him. "What's that sir?"

"Well, after our conversation, I uh, guess I fell asleep or passed out again." He put his beer down, got up and walked over to the window that overlooked his lawn. "I woke up here. I had been undressed and put to bed."

She shook her head. "I'm sorry, sir. But I think you just probably woke up and drove yourself home in a state of…"

"Drunken automatic pilot?" He shook his head back at her. "I thought of that. Heaven knows I can get from the cemetery to here without any conscious thought normally. But it was raining, I know cause I found my muddy footprints into the bedroom." He raised his hand as she opened her mouth to speak. "I know, not much proof, but...all my life one thing was taught me. Never wear muddy boots in the house. My Granny Katrina ground it into my psyche. When I'm drunk, sick, shot or stone cold sober...the boots come off at the door. Only one person ever wears muddy boots into the O'Neill house, and he wore them last night."

"I'm confused, sir. Daniel wouldn't have worn boots muddy or otherwise. As an ascended being, he...well, he wouldn't have muddy boots."

"But as an ascended being who was controlling somebody who was dead drunk, it would be the last thing on his mind."

"You think Daniel was controlling you?" She shook her head. "Sir, that is so...so not Daniel."

"I don't know." He shook his head and started to take the first drink out of his beer bottle. He stopped eyed it suspiciously and sat it down on the coffee table. "Considering I was passed out on muddy ground leaning against my son's tombstone in a sleet storm, it sounds pretty Daniel-like to me."

"Oh, well...if you put it that way..." She looked at him concernedly. "Sir, I uh,"

"Carter, I know. I'm drinking too much, I've started to smoke again and I'm at the end of my career." He reached over and covered her clasped hands with his. "Don't worry; okay...about me anyway." He shrugged and gave her a little smile. "Now, can you tell me about Orlin?"

"Well, yes sir, of course." She looked at him seriously. "What do you want to know?"


Several hours later, after Sam Carter had left, O'Neill made his way up to his observation deck. He needed to think and this was the best place he had to clear his head. Jack had set up his big telescope and was looking up at the night sky, when he noticed a faint white glow behind him. He turned around, half-afraid of what he'd find. There sitting on one of the permanently mounted benches was Daniel, looking perfectly normal except for a dim luminosity that seemed to create a kind of halo effect.

"Hello, Jack."

"Daniel." He acknowledged his friend. "Nice to see you again."

"You're looking better." Daniel commented.

"Yea, well, I feel better too." O'Neill admitted. "Now, that I see you when I'm not drunk." He seemed to think of something. "Of course, this could just mean that I'm really nuts now."

"So, you're finally convinced that I'm real, and I'm who I say I am?"

"If not before, I am now." Jack smiled at him, and shook his head. "Only you would decide to come back from the dead in that damned plaid shirt."

Daniel looked at him in amazement then down at himself. "I am?" Then he shrugged. "I didn't realize what my image was wearing. It was my favorite shirt for years."

"Yea, I know." Jack nodded. "You wore it for years. And Danny I gotta tell ya, plaid is not your color."

"Thanks a lot." Jackson shook his head. "I suppose you even miss my glasses, too!"

Jack looked at him, considering the question. "Well, you do look different...but no, I don't miss them. I can see your eyes better."

"Is that a good thing?" Daniel asked jokingly.

"Well, yea." Jack nodded. "You have really nice eyes."

"I do?" Daniel looked at him in amazement. "Since when?"

"Oh, I don't know, thirty four, thirty five years or so"

"You didn't know me then."

"No," Jack agreed reasonably. "But I know your eyes were still that blue.

"Thanks, I think." Daniel smiled his little shy smile. "So, what are your plans now?"

"Oh, pretty much the same." O'Neill settled back on his bench. "I'm retiring from the Air Force in a week or so. I'll put this house up for sale and move to the cabin."

"Why?' His friend asked suspiciously.

"Daniel, look, I've made it this far. But I don't think, no, I know, that I can't continue to handle things like this. I'm getting old, I'm tired. It's time for someone else to save the galaxy." He shook his head in emphasis. "Too many friends, too much death, too much shit...I'm worn out like an old pair of boots. The heels are run down, the soles are too thin and the laces keep breaking."

"But all your friends are here, Jack. They need you."

He snorted out a bitter chuckle. "Not even a little bit. I've recommended Carter for L.C.; she'll probably get the next SG1. Teal'c will stay on for a while. George is retiring too. I think he's waiting for the school year to be out, then he'll move his daughter-in-law and granddaughters to Texas with him. Cassie's almost ready for college." He gave his visitor a crooked smile. "Nobody needs me, Daniel. I'd just be a drag on everyone who's left at the SGC." He reached down for the beer at his feet. "Nah, the party's over and this old warhorse is going out to pasture."

Daniel watched him carefully for awhile, not completely believing what Jack was saying. "Jack, don't do anything...crazy, okay. Promise me."

"Nope, Danny. No promises." He took a long swallow finishing the beer. "Look, you made your decision. I respected it. Don't try to stop me from making my own decision, okay." He looked straight at Daniel. "It's my life; to do with as I see fit. I'm not gonna lie to you and say everything will be all right cause I don't know that it will." He looked at the bottle still in his hand and noticed it was empty.



O'Neill had noticed that Daniel's 'glow' was starting to dim. "Jack, I'm sorry. I have to go. I'm not really strong enough yet."

"Sure Danny...go on and do what you gotta do."

"Jack, I'll come back."

"Danny, I won't be here."

"If you're not, I'll come to you in Minnesota."

"You don't know the way to Minnesota."

"No, but I know the way to you." Daniel began to fade a little, his image distorting. "Jack, I'll be back." Daniel's voice pleaded then the form of his friend morphed into a white glowing light.

Jack watched the glow as it faded into the night sky.


Four months later, it was early spring and the woods of Minnesota were just beginning to recognize the insistent call of Mother Nature. Jack O'Neill came out onto his cabin's porch carrying a hot mug of coffee. He sat down in the old rocking chair that had been there for three generations of the O'Neill clan. It creaked a little but it held up, not unlike its occupant.

Jack had finally made his escape. He'd stayed through the winter in Colorado Springs. His retirement was approved last December. He had managed to keep busy getting his suburban house ready to sell repainting, repairing and then finally moving everything that he didn't want or need to a storage facility. Jack had left the key to it with Lieutenant Colonel Sam Carter with the instructions that if anyone needed anything he had there, to go ahead and give it to him or her. He knew, and suspected that she knew, that he wouldn't be coming back for anything stored there.

He'd also been invited to every Christmas party that had been given that was the least bit connected to the SGC. His friends were obviously worried about him. They cited his uncharacteristic moodiness, his drinking too much and his resumption of smoking. Hell, he knew what they were really worried about. They were afraid that he would shoot himself, or just plain drink himself to death.

But O'Neill had finally fooled them all. He was just tired, he'd said. He just needed a long vacation in the peaceful woods of his childhood. A quiet time of fishing, hiking and introspection. Yep, he'd even gone as far as having a satellite dish put out here, so he could get the news, he said. Carter had even given him a computer so he could access the Internet and have e-mail capabilities. Oh well, he had appreciated the thought. A wonderful woman, a beautiful thoughtful woman...the one that got away. Or the one not chased, for all their flirting and dancing around several years back. But they both knew if not admitted, that their relationship would have been a mistake. Hell, she probably would have called him Sir in bed.

No, Carter wasn't the one that he longed for, the one he needed. He was just glad that they'd admitted it before he'd screwed up her career. His mentoring her had become one of the high lights of his professional life. If nothing else, he'd taught her how to fight and how to survive against all comers, both the overtly hostile and the politicians. Yep, his one real success story. He was glad he had one.

Daniel had been a…well, not a success. Daniel had been a bitter failure. No, not Daniel, he, Jack O'Neill had been the failure. He had failed his best friend. Hell, he had failed as a best friend and commander. He had failed to protect him. Daniel was gone, gone and dead. Jack took another drink of his strong coffee. For a while, he'd been able to deny it. He'd even gone to the point of fantasizing about Daniel. He'd sworn he'd seen him, talked to him. He'd even told Carter and bless her, she'd even pretended that she believed him. But that had been months ago and the imagined promises had not come true. Hell, he knew better. Daniel was gone, if he wasn't dead he at least was no longer bothering to come back to check on his past acquaintances.

Jack had started drinking heavily when he moved into the cabin. It was the only way he could sleep. He'd start drinking early in the afternoon, have a small dinner then pass out. He'd have a breakfast of sorts, mostly coffee then spend his few sober hours working around the cabin. Then the drinking would start again. He had known it was just a matter of time before the rest of his plan came to fruition.

The time was almost here. Last night, he'd sat on the porch with this bottle of Johnny Walker Red and watched the night sky. He'd seen a meteor, and for a moment his heart had leapt. But, evidently, it was just a meteor. Jack had finished the bottle and passed out on the floor in the kitchen. This morning he'd awoken with a headache and no interest in spending another day in the cabin or on this earth, for that matter. He'd poured a cup of cold coffee from yesterday's pot and nuked it hot in the microwave. He'd made it to the porch again and was now planning 'it'. He'd take the rowboat out, and he'd take a fresh bottle. What would happen was inevitable, death by misadventure. No one would question it, Janet could collect his insurance money and it could be used for Cassie. Hell, it might as well go for something positive like a college education for the young girl they had brought back from the doomed planet years ago.

Fortified by the strong black coffee and the alcohol still in his bloodstream from last night, or had it been this morning, he gathered enough stuff to make this all appear legit. Jack walked down to the dock where the small wooden boat was moored. He pitched the gear into the bottom of the small craft and climbed into it carefully carrying the cooler with his prop snacks. He was going to make it look like he'd gone fishing for the morning. The inevitable would happen; he'd drink himself into a stupor and fall in. End of story. An inglorious end for the infamous Jack O'Neill. Too bad, so sad, oh well, should have expected it. The man had never quite recovered from the loss of his son and then the disappearance of his best friend had finally pushed him over the edge.

He stepped into the old boat and rowed himself out into the center of the lake. Once there he settled back to do some serious drinking. Might as well do it up right, a high alcohol content would look good for the doctors and he might not feel it as much when he did hit the water. His one time almost drowning in a fast moving river on some damned planet had shown him that it wasn't the actual drowning that hurt it was the resuscitation that was the pain in the ass. Shit, Danny had pulled him out of that one too, diving in after him when he was shot by a staff weapon moments before he left the cliff. Damnit all! Jack took another pull from the bottle. It wasn't fucking fair…it just wasn't. He ran his free hand across his face and through his hair. It wasn't gonna be hard to leave this life behind…and he prayed that reincarnation was not an option.

Daniel was working his way to the lake front cabin. He wasn't completely corporeal yet so he could take some shortcuts that were still available to him in his disembodied state. But he had a nagging sense of foreboding. It had taken him longer than he had hoped to regain his health even with the assistance of Oma Dessala. She had warned him that if he did decide to return to his human state too early, he would still suffer from all the physical difficulties that were inherent with radiation poisoning. So Daniel had been cautious and waited the seemingly endless period before trying to return. But now, these bad vibes he'd been getting were up to a panicked level. He knew Jack had been depressed and had started drinking heavily again, but Daniel had hoped that his retirement to the fabled cabin in Minnesota had given his friend some new interests and lightened his spirit somewhat. However the closer Daniel got to the cabin, the more anxious he became.

When he finally reached his goal, the cabin was standing open and didn't appear to be occupied. He made a quick sweep through the interior, noticing a large number of empty bottles in the garbage. Jack had obviously not improved in his attitude. Now, where would he be?

The glowing energy being emerged from the cabin and followed the footpath down towards the lake. He quickly found the dock and noted the lack of boat. Daniel started to search the lake; the bad feeling growing exponentially the longer he looked. Finally, he saw the boat. It was floating, apparently unattended, in the middle of the lake. He dropped like a stone into the bow of the boat, and then stopped to breathe. Jack was passed out, unconscious, in the bottom of the rowboat. Daniel sat down on the plank that made the front seat. He looked at his best friend and shook his head in relief. Leave it to Jack to screw up his grand entrance. Well, there was no help for it.

If anyone had been watching in this remote out of the way spot, they would have seen a bright light descend into a small rather elderly rowboat. Then after a few seconds, they would have seen a bright flash in the boat. If they were still watching, after the flash, they would have seen an ordinary looking youngish man with light brown hair appear in the boat. He moved carefully to the belly of the small craft to check on the condition of the other occupant who appeared to be unconscious. Once satisfied with his condition, the newcomer picked up the oars and started rowing back to the dock.

Daniel carefully docked the rowboat and tied it off at both the bow and the stern. He then climbed carefully over to where Jack lay. He looked down at his best friend and reason for being in this plain of existence and shook his head sorrowfully. "Jack," he murmured sadly "whatever am I going to do with you?" Then, cautious of the movement of the boat and the condition of the older man, he picked O'Neill up around the torso, put the unconscious man's arm around his neck and climbed out of the small craft. Once on the relative security of the dock, Daniel bent down, swung Jack up in a fireman's carry and started up the footpath to the cabin.

Later that evening, Jack slowly emerged from his drunken stupor. His head felt like it was about to explode, his tongue like an army of Russian soldiers had marched across it and his stomach like a grenade had gone off in it. He tried to sit up but failed miserably in the attempt. White flashes streaked across his vision and the room spun sickeningly. He did manage to roll over and hang his head off the bed. He almost wanted to get up, but couldn't convince his body to do anything remotely resembling what he wanted it to do. Jack figured it would come soon enough anyway. Then he noticed that he wasn't dead. Hell, he wasn't even wet. What happened? He did remember getting into the boat and rowing out to the center of the lake. What the fuck happened. He was supposed to drink himself into oblivion then the stinking leaky boat was supposed to sink taking him with it committing a sorta suicide in the process.

He groaned and just when he thought about moving, his stomach decided that it had finally took all the abuse it could stand and rebelled. O'Neill managed to lean off the mattress and found a bucket sitting conveniently by its side so he used it, several times.

By the time he'd finished throwing up everything, possibly including his liver, a pair of gentle hands had materialized to stroke his back and to wield a cold cloth for his head. A concerned voice was murmuring his name and calling him back to consciousness. Jack groaned and made an effort to roll back onto the bed. The hands supported his shoulders and guided him back to the pillow. Jack lay back, eyes closed, just enjoying the comfort. Finally he managed to open his eyes. He wanted to see who had come in and discovered him. When he finally managed it and focused on the blurry form in front of him, he couldn't believe it.


"Yea, Jack. It's me."

"I am dead."

"No, but you'll probably wish you were before you're through." Daniel's concerned face swam in front of his eyes.

Jack reached up with a shaking hand, expecting it to go through a non-corporeal image. It touched flesh and blood. He left it there, enjoying the touch of smooth skin and a slight bristling of beard stubble.

Daniel caught Jack's hand in his and held it, pulling it to his lips and kissing the wayward fingers and finally, licking and then nipping at the palm. "I'm real Jack. I'm back."

Jack reached up with his other hand, tentatively, as if the other man would be snatched out of his grasp. He stroked Daniel's face softly, tracing the ached brows, the well-shaped nose and finally the full, lush lips. Then he wrapped hand behind Daniel's neck and pulled him down to his chest, holding on to the strong young body like a drowning man holding on a life preserver.

Daniel could feel the sobs shaking Jack as they came up to the surface. He relaxed into the trembling arms and continued to murmur assurances that he really was back, it wasn't a dream and that he'd never leave him again. The other man could only hold him tighter and cry out his heartbreak and fears of being alone.

Finally, after long minutes of emotional catharsis and having cried himself out, Jack fell into a deep, restful sleep. Daniel disengaged himself from the older man and carried the bucket outside. He then returned to the bedroom. There he pulled off his shoes, jeans and the plaid shirt he was inexplicably wearing again and crawled under the covers and into bed with Jack. He cuddled up next to him, wrapping his arms around his beloved friend before he too fell asleep.


Several hours later, Jack awoke again to find himself wrapped in strong arms and looking at his dreams come true: Daniel back, Daniel safe, Daniel in his arms and in his bed. He didn't know how or why just yet but he really didn't care. He could lay there forever and just look at the sight of Daniel asleep. Jack raised his free hand, the one not trapped under the body that lay next to him, and began to trace the beloved features that faced him. His fingers stroked the brows, caressed the perfect nose and finally touched the full lips. As his fingertips made contact, the lips parted and mouthed the invading digits with automatic reflex and pulling them into the mouth where they were licked, nibbled and sucked. The blue eyes opened.

"You're really real." Jack finally admitted.

Daniel nodded. "Yes, Jack. Really real."

"Really back."

"Yes, Jack. Really back."

"To stay?"


"It won't be long enough." He rolled away and out of bed.

"Where are you going?" Daniel protested.

"I really need to brush my teeth." Jack replied, "Cause I really want to kiss you and I can't do it like this." He then fled into the bathroom where he took care of the minor details of bad breath, two Tylenol and drank a large glass of water. When he returned to the bedroom, Daniel had also been busy. He had pulled back the covers off of the bed and had located a container of hand lotion. When Jack sat down beside him on the bed, Daniel reached for him and pulled him down to lay beside him.

"Feeling better."

"When I woke up to you in my bed, I felt a whole hell of a lot better, Danny." Jack reached over to cup Daniel's head and kiss him on those wonderful lips. "I don't know how you did this, or even why...but, thank god you did."

"Well, I don't think Oma Dessala claims that distinction, but I was sent back with a purpose." He responded in kind, nibbling on Jack's lower lip and jaw line.

"Oh, and what would that be?" Jack breathed into Daniel's ear.

The younger man couldn't answer right then as he licked and teased O'Neill's mouth open and demonstrated his technique in the tongue kissing method. "Um hummm." Proving his talent in multitasking, he also managed to get the lotion bottle open and to coat his fingers and palm so he could spread it on Jack's swelling cock.

"Danny, what are you doing?'' Jack murmured into his mouth. Daniel smiled up at him and took his right hand to pour a generous amount in it and smear the slippery cream up the long, strong fingers. Jack got the idea. "Love, are you sure?"

"I've never been so sure of anything in my life, uh, lives." Daniel slipped out of his grasp and rolled over onto his back.

Jack looked at him with concern and holding back with effort.. "This way is harder, Danny. And it's been so long, I'm not sure how much control I'll have."

Daniel looked up at him with trust and love. "Jack, I know you'd never hurt me...and I need to see that it's you. Please, I need it to be this way."

"Whatever you want, love." Jack replied gently. "However you want it. I swear I'll try not to hurt you." He used his slick fingers to broach Daniel, first one then two then three, he manipulated them to stretch and relax his beloved's muscles and prepare him. Then finally, Daniel smiled up at him. "Now, Jack, please now, do it now."

O'Neill shifted his position and moved up between Daniel's thighs to take what was his. They locked eyes and Jack moved slowly into Daniel. His lover smiled as he felt himself being filled, a few tears came to his eyes and the other man stopped his motions. After a little while, he stroked the younger man with his oiled hand to add to the stimulation. But the vision in his bed shook his head. "No, don't stop, not now, please. I couldn't stand it. I need this so much...Jack, oh Jack, please. It's so fantastic, so amazing, please..."

So, Jack closed his eyes and took a deep breath and loved Daniel. Loved him with all his heart and soul and body, until they both cried out and they both wept for all the wasted time and all the lost opportunities. Then, finally, they lay together and slept; two together creating the perfect oneness.


Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter, newly appointed team chief of SG1 and her team member Teal'c the Jaffa warrior drove carefully up the gravel road that led to Jack O'Neill's rustic cabin. She'd only been there twice before. Once when the whole team of SG1 had come up for a week's vacation years ago and then again when they had helped the retired Colonel move his household up to the secluded cabin. She hadn't been enthused to see her old boss and friend moving so far away from civilization but he'd finally convinced her that it was what he needed, "just some peace and quiet, Carter. That's all I want for a while."

While it had sounded suspicious to her on one level, it had made some sense on another. The Colonel was definitely stressed out and needed a vacation doing things that he wanted to do. But a little voice and been sounding warnings ever since he had retired and moved to his cabin in the woods.

But last week she'd received the mysterious phone call. It had been the Colonel. "Carter, why don't you and Teal'c come up for a weekend? I've got a surprise for you."

"Oh, and what kind of surprise would that be, Jack? Did you finally decide on what kind of a dog to get?" She's asked playfully, happy to hear from him and to listen to the new found lilt in his voice.

"Yea, that's it. I got a new dog. A big puppy."

"What kind of dog did you finally get?" She asked curiously.

"Oh, I think he's kind of a mutt." She heard some strange noises in the background. Then some barking and some laughing. Finally, Jack exclaimed something unintelligible and told his harasser to sit and stay. Whining ensued.

"He sounds big all right." She said into the receiver.

"Yep, a real handful." Then Jack started laughing again. "See you guys this weekend, Carter. Gotta go!"


So here they were, en route to the Colonel's house.

Carter pulled up to the cabin and she and Teal'c approached the front door. She could hear Jack's voice and laughter at Teal'c knocked.

"He sounds better, happier." She commented as the door was flung open.

"Hey you two come on in. Do I have a surprise for you!" O'Neill enveloped her in a hug and clapped the big warrior on the shoulder.

"Carter has said that you have gotten an infant canine, O'Neill."

"Wellll…that's the real surprise." Jack showed them into the cabin's living room area and allowed them to walk in front. Daniel slipped in from the kitchen and stood behind Jack partially obscured. As the pair of SG1 members turned to take their seats, the returned archeologist, stepped out.

Sam sat on the couch speechless and just stared at him. Teal'c, ever the self possessed one, smiled and spoke. "It is good to see you again, Danieljackson. You do not appear to be a puppy." Daniel smiled in return. "I am sort of a mutt though. How are you my friend?"

"I am very well."

"Daniel! Is it really you?" Carter got to her feet and went to her teammate. Daniel stood still and let her approach. "Can I touch you?"

"Yes, I'm solid now. It's okay."

She swept him into a strong hug. "Oh, god! It's so good to see you.

He returned it with enthusiasm. Teal'c had followed his new team chief and when Daniel reached for him he grasped the younger man's forearm.

"It's great to see you two too. I've missed you all so much."

"As have we, Danieljackson." The big man smiled at his young friend.

"But how, Daniel?" Sam released him from the hug and looked up at him. "How did this happen?"

He shrugged and looked back at Jack. "He made me an offer I couldn't refuse."

"And what was that, Danieljackson?"

"Oh, let's see," He started ticking off on his fingers. "A rustic cabin in the woods, a lake without fish, he'd quit smoking again, only drink with me," Jack came up behind him and slipped his arms around Daniel's waist, "and we'd come out of the closet."

Teal'c looked confused, and Carter amazed.

"Jack, Daniel. What are you saying?" She managed to get out.

Jack spoke up. "Sam, we've been tippy--toeing around each other for years. As long as I was a part of the SGC, hell...as long as I was active duty, we couldn't be together. And I gotta tell you it was my main regret when Daniel, after he...well, left us was that we'd never finished what we'd started." He shrugged. "I know you suspected that I wasn't going to be here very long. I couldn't face life without him anymore."

Tears filled her eyes. "You're right. I guess I knew that when you moved back up here."

Teal'c bowed his head. "If you are referring to ending your own life, O'Neill...I expected to find you at your home one day gone from us." He looked up at the pair. "But I do not understand about a closet."

Jack laughed, and kissed Daniel on the nape of his neck. "It's a phrase used to mean that we are gay, homosexual." He shrugged. "Though I don't feel gay. I only feel this way about Danny. No other man has had this effect on me."

"Then you are speaking of a Warrior Bond." Teal'c looked at them knowingly. "It is an honorable status on Chulak. It is often formed due to shared respect and commitment that is created during the heat of battle and as a response to the death of one's comrades." He looked at Carter. "This is forbidden by your culture?"

"Yes, it is." Sam answered for the two men. "They're right. It is considered wrong."

Teal'c shook his head. "The more I learn of your people, the more I am confused."

Carter looked at O'Neill. "Now that Daniel's back, what are your plans?"

He'd moved around to stand next to Daniel, but still had his arm around him. "Well, to tell you the truth, I...we haven't made any. We've just been enjoying being together." He looked at his lover. "What do you think, Danny?"

"It's nice here. We can pretty much do what we want. Of course, I'll have to live as a kept man." He smiled up at Jack. "I'm afraid that my archeological career is pretty much in tatters after the SGC. Maybe I'll try writing some of those historical romances that you love so much Sam. Course, I'll probably have to do it under a pseudonym or even under Jack's name to keep the NID from being all over me." He laughed at himself and Jack's expression.

Sam smiled a their happiness. "Maybe you could do some long range consulting for the SGC. They're still missing you in the research department." She suggested.

"No. I don't think so, Sam." He shook his head. "I mean, I'll be happy to assist you with anything you want, but I can't bring any attention here." Daniel smiled at Jack who took his hand and kissed it. "I won't put this at risk...for anything."

"You are wise, Danieljackson. With the changing of Command at the SGC, we cannot predict the future. I too have some concern in staying with the SGC after General Hammond leaves." He looked at Carter. "I would not have stayed so long except for Carter now that you have left O'Neill."

O'Neill nodded his understanding. He knew that Teal'c's loyalties had always been to the team and General Hammond, not to the SGC. Their resident alien had long had plans to return to Chulak and lead his fellow Jaffa in a rebellion against the Goa'uld. He was surprised the big warrior had stayed as long as he had.

Daniel pulled away and disengaged himself from Jack. "Sam, we need to talk privately." He looked at Jack who smiled and nodded at him. The young man took Carter's hand and led her out of the cabin.

Jack looked after them. "Don't be gone long."

Jackson waived at him. "I'll be right back. Don't worry." He smiled down at the woman who had been like a sister to him for all these years. "Jack is still a little overprotective, I don't think it's really occurred to him that I'm back for good."

"I don't blame him, Daniel." She smiled up at her friend. "I find it a little hard to believe too."

"One of the reasons I was allowed to return was Jack's self-destructiveness." He confided in her. "Jack's role as Earth's protector is not over yet. He's just entering into a new chapter of his life. He'd too important to too many people out there. The Asgard, the Nox, they all trust him to do what's right."

"And you?"

"They trust me to be with him, to guide him onto the great path." He stopped. He had led them to a secluded part of the forest, a high bluff that looked out over lake and then continued on into the wilderness area. "There's someone here who wants to see you again, Sam. Someone who hopes you want to see him."

As they stood there, a swirling light coalesced above them and seemed to float down towards them. Daniel kissed her on the cheek and released her to start back down the trail to the cabin. She nodded to him then watched the glowing being come down to rest next to her. Then, as she watched, The being formed into his familiar shape. He appeared to be a young man of indeterminate age, with longish brown hair and a slender build. He was wearing casual slacks, a blue shirt and tan jacket. "Hello Sam."

"Hello, Orlin. How are you?"

"I'm fine. I've missed you."

She smiled at him. "I've missed you too."

Daniel returned to the cabin. Jack and Teal'c were sitting on the porch talking, reminiscing about the many wonderful things that they'd done and seen through their five years together as a team.

They all knew that those days were behind them now. But they also knew that they had many more years of friendship and experiences to come. The SGC would remain the first defense against the common enemy of the peaceful people of the galaxy, but they were at the very least, the second.


(The theme from ‘The Mummy Returns)


Forever, Forever may not be long enough for my love

I have a will but I’m lost inside your touch

If you could would you come with me to the other side

Forever may not be long enough

Forever may not be long enough

Forever may not be long enough for this love

Forever, Forever, Forever,


This world is never enough and I’m not giving up.

My baby, love is like blood, I spill it freely

My baby, love is like blood, it goes in every way

Don’t stop to look at it, look at the clock.

Forever, it won’t be long enough


Forever may not be long enough for you to know

Just how far I’d travel, just how far I would go

Open your heart and everything will be all right

Open your heart and believe with me...Don’t be afraid forever


This world is never enough and I’m not giving up.

My baby, love is like blood, I spill it freely

My baby, love is like blood, it goes in every way

Don’t stop to look at it, look at the clock.

Forever, it won’t be long enough