Slash fic: A loving committed relationship between two people who just happen to be men.
Title: Desert Heat
Author: Debi C
Category: SLASH, Challenge, angst, Established Relationship
Date: 20 August 2002
Series: None Season/Spoilers: Children of the Gods, Brief Candle, 100 Days, Cold Lazarus, Forever And a Day, Divide and Conquer. and Triad.
Archive: Alpha Gate. Area 52. TheBoy, the Cartouche Majel's Plan B/The Meaning of Life Stuff. Anyone else please ask.
Synopsis: To the challenge: "Heat Haze." A visit to Abydos leads to declarations.
Notes: Friday Night Fic Challenge #10 for the_Alpha_Gate. Thanks to Madeline and Celtic Angel for the beta and Dangermouse for the Alpha. An homage to the divine Quercus.
Warnings: Hardly any. If this wasn't slash, it wouldn't have any at all. Oh yea, lots of warm fuzzy stuff.
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. 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.
By Debi C
* * * * * * * *
Abydos was hot! No two ways about it, it was just plain hot.
He'd agreed to come 'home' with Daniel. There was a celebration that occurred once every ten Abydonian years, that was six earth years. Daniel had been there the first time as good son of Kasuf, husband of Sha'uri and brother of Skaara and as Kasuf still considered him a member of the family he had been expected to attend the festivities. Jack had been invited as elder brother of Dan'yel or so he assumed, or maybe even father figure for all he knew of it.
So Daniel had asked and Kasuf had invited and now he was here. It wasn't so bad. He admired the old Headman Kasuf and dearly loved Skaara, but it was hot. Hot as blue blazes, hot as Hades, hot as fire and Danny, well, Danny was just plain smoking!
He had looked out the window and down the narrow, crowded, jumbled street just in time to see the younger man striding easily down street. Clad in his Abydonian regalia, hood tossed back off his fair hair and onto his shoulders, he resembled a young Lawrence of Arabia complete with long flowing robes and soft desert boots. He also had managed to accumulate a small following of adolescent children. They followed him in a long queue, calling his name and asking him questions, and generally leaving a large noisy wake wherever he went. Jack had to smile. The prophet Daniel, out of one lion's den into another, what a way to live a life. Well, hanging around with his Danny would never be dull.
Finally Daniel reached the doorway of Kosuf's house. He turned and waived the kids off, saying something to them in a rather loud voice. The honor guard hollered something back at him, laughed and scattered like a covey of quail. Daniel crossed the entrance and closed the heavy wooden door firmly behind himself.
Jack shifted his position on the window seat. "Hi ya."
The beautiful face caught sight of him and smiled a blinding smile. "Hi yourself." Daniel's long-fingered graceful hands shifted into sight. They were holding a package.
"What ya got there, Danny?"
Daniel handed the parcel to Jack. When he opened it he discovered a traditional Abydonian costume complete with aba, robe, cloak and soft boots. He held it up to the incoming light, admiring the workmanship of the outfit. He looked at Daniel. "Cool, but what's the occasion?"
"Uh, well Jack, it's a present for you from the family...but ah, we need to talk."
"Okay, let's talk." Jack bestirred himself from his cushioned seat on the shaded overhang. He led the way back into the cool interior of the ancient stone house. Once inside, Jack poured two glasses of water and held one out to his companion.
Daniel was pulling off his own outer cloak and hood. He lay the garments down on the ornately carved divan with care. He was wearing the complete costume, O'Neill noted. The aba-like garment that remained was a loose fitting robe. "Aren't you hot in all of that clothing?" He asked
The younger man shook his head. "No, actually it's quite cool. The material acts as insulation from the heat."
"So, uh...what does the good Abydonian wear under all that cloth and stuff. A loincloth?"
Daniel looked up at him in surprise, then grinned that amazing grin of his and replied in a fair-to- middling Scots brogue. "No...They wear the same thing that a good Scotsman wears under his kilt...his pride. That's one o' tha reasons it's so cool."
Jack had to laugh. "Daniel, only you could get away with that accent in that outfit."
"It's the beauty of multi-lingualism." Danny chuckled back, taking a long drink of the cool water. He finished the liquid and sat down on a cushion at the low dining table. There were some dried date-like fruit in a ceramic bowl and he helped himself to the delicacy.
"So what did you want to tell me?" Jack eased himself down on another cushion and refilled his friend's glass.
The young archaeologist cum linguist looked a little embarrassed. "Well, there appears to have been a slight misunderstanding within the family, and I don't want you to feel uncomfortable or anything but...uh..."
"But," O'Neill prompted with an encouraging look.
"Well, when I initially asked you to attend the ceremony with me, it was purely as a visitor...a tourist so to speak." He took a breath. "Well, as you know, Kasuf notices everything and he's particularly good at it with people he knows well..."
"Like you," Jack prompted.
"Yeah, like me." Danny blushed, "When I asked if it would be all right for you to come and attend the ceremony with me...he assumed...he thought..."
"So what exactly are we saying here Daniel?" Jack pressed him when the younger man hesitated. "What kind of misunderstanding?"
Daniel looked up at him. "Well, you see Kasuf, he noticed us."
"Noticed us? How? What was there to notice?" Jack looked confused. "Danny, I haven't touched you since we got here."
"I know, I know…but you know, he saw us looking at each other and I guess there's still some body language if you're looking for it."
Jack was watching his partner carefully. He also excelled at Danny-speak and he was beginning to get the gist of the miscommunication. "Daniel, what type of ceremony are we talking about here?"
"Well, it's actually a very old ancient Egyptian festival that honors the goddess of life and rebirth. Of course, they don't worship the same deity here anymore and they don't have a Nile river but the thoughts and feelings are the same. It's sort of a fertility rite and..."
Jack looked at him. "Babbling here, Danny. Yada yada."
"Well, actually, it's a spring wedding or bonding rite that..."
"So someone's getting married."
"Yes. Well, actually lot's of people are getting married...even newly weds from over the last several years are being 'sealed' together for the rest of their lives. The civil ceremony that they underwent was to legitimize any offspring. This, this is the religious ceremony."
"So, all the couples that Kasuf has married as headman will be like, married by a priest now?"
Daniel nodded. "Exactly, Jack. That's it exactly. And it also recognizes any births that have taken place to be blessed by the gods."
"And this affects us how?"
Now his young partner really began to look uncomfortable. "Well, Kasuf being who he is and seeing what he thinks he saw...wants us to participate in the ceremony." Daniel looked up and caught Jack's attention with his. "He's figured out that we have an ongoing relationship, and he thinks I brought you here for this." Daniel looked very embarrassed. "I told him that our, that we hadn't made any commitments to each other ...that we were uhm, casual." Daniel dropped his gaze. "He won't buy it."
"Daniel." Jack reached over and caught him under the chin, raising the blushing face to look at him. "Daniel, do you consider what we have to be casual?" He asked seriously.
The young man turned his face out of Jack's hand. "Well, we've never really said. Never discussed boundaries or...commitment. I didn't want assume anything."
Now very serious, O'Neill shifted closer to his lover. "Daniel when we, when I, allowed this relationship to begin I took a very serious step. At my age I don't do casual. There's too much at risk both emotionally and legally." He shook his head. "My last real relationship was Sara, and that lasted twelve years. And, Danny, I didn't end that one. She did." Daniel didn't say anything so he continued. "If I weren't sure about my feelings for you, about our feelings for each other, I never would have permitted anything to develop between us. There's too much at stake here; at stake for the team, at stake for my career, and at stake emotionally for both of us for anything but forever. Now, if you don't feel that way, well then I guess I'm just screwed."
Daniel looked up at him with a new expression of wonder in his eyes. "Jack, I...I...never expected you to say anything like that." He paused a moment to think, biting down on his lower lip. "I thought that you were, well...that I was someone who loved you, and that I would take whatever you would give me. I never in my wildest dreams expected a long-term commitment from you." He ducked his head in embarrassment. "Jack, I've never felt anything but serious about you."
"Daniel, I love you. I want you to be with me when we're old and cranky, and I want to die in bed with you holding my hand and telling me to wait for you." He leaned over and kissed the slightly open mouth, then murmured into it. "You're the only thing I want, the only thing I need." He pulled back a little to gaze into the blue eyes. "As mushy as that all sounds, it's the truth." At that moment, Jack wished that he had some artistic talent, or at least a camera, to preserve the expression on Daniel's face. But he didn't so he just leaned in to kiss his lover again.
"But what about Laira?"
Jack pulled back, surprised at the question. "What?"
"What about Laira? What about Kinthia? And I know you have feelings for Sam."
The older man looked at him in surprise. "What about them? I don't know what you mean exactly."
"Well," Daniel said desperately. "If nothing else it proves that you prefer women. Jack, you were living with Laira."
"Daniel, I thought I was there for the rest of my life! I waited two months. I didn't just move in with her right away...and yes, if you hadn't come for me, and I'd had to stay there I would have made the best of it, but she was the second choice, not you. And as far as Kinthia, hell, you and I hadn't even begun to notice each other. You were still looking for Sha'uri, then. No matter what I wanted for myself, I wanted you to be happy."
"Daniel, Carter and I would kill each other in the first six months. We never did anything except act stupid." He was beginning to feel desperate. Jack leaned over again, but this time he grasped the younger man's shoulders to make a point. "Think Daniel, just think. Ever since we've known each other, there's been nothing but a haze of pure heat boiling between us. Even Kasuf can see it. The only reason it took me this long to figure it out was because of our previous commitments. I had Sarah to think of and you had Sha'uri. Now, we're both free and I want you." He released Daniel and turned to walk away, running both his hands across his face and through his short salt and pepper hair. "God, I suck at this stuff, Danny. Throw me a bone here!" When he reached the other end of the room, Jack turned and looked back at his lover.
Daniel was standing alone in the middle of the room. He'd taken his glasses off and was in the midst of a self-hug, making him look much younger and vulnerable than he could possibly be. He was looking towards Jack but past him out the window. He slowly walked towards his lover until he stood next to him, looking out the opening and out into the Abydonian desert that stretched as far as the eye could see.
"When I got here the first time, I thought I had found a home. And I had...I had everything I had ever wanted. Then it was taken away, and all I had left was emptiness. You took me back. You helped me to see and do things I'd never even imagined. You even helped me find Sha'uri and Skaara. But it was too late for her. She was gone. Still, you were there for me. When everyone else told me it was impossible, you kept helping, encouraging, letting me do what I had to do until there was nothing left for me and I was finished. But you never told me not to try. You never made me quit. You let me find my own way." Daniel turned to his partner. "I loved you for that. Then I loved you because...you never doubted. Your faith led us to Skaara, and we did save him. That was when I realized that I had fallen in love with you. I don't even know when it happened. One day, I looked at you, and I knew that you were the reason I stayed at the SGC. Then, I found out that you wanted me, and I knew that I'd take whatever you could give me for however long you would stay with me. I'm still here, Jack."
O'Neill turned and stepped around behind Daniel's back, then he slowly wrapped his arms around the younger man and leaned against him. "Daniel," he whispered into his ear, "I'm giving you the rest of my life. Is that long enough?"
His lover leaned back into his arms, tilting his head back against Jack's shoulder. "Please, I want it all."
"You got it, babe, and with you, I want to live forever."
Later that evening, Skaara arrived home. As he entered his father's house he could hear his brother, Dan-yel talking in the quarters that he shared with Onear. Dan'yel had been upset earlier when their father had given him their family's gift to give to the Taur'i soldier. Dan'yel had stuttered and protested, seemingly surprised by their assumption that he and his companion would be participating in tonight's ceremony. When Dan'yel had tried to deny it to their father, Kasuf had only waived him away with the command that he should speak of this to his lover. The younger man had left then and gone to the house.
Skaara had come now, hours later, to determine if the two men would be attending the ceremony. As he closed the door he was pleased to see his old hero, Onear stepping out into the communal living area. He was wearing the traditional clothing of Abydos.
"Well," the older man demanded. "Do I look silly or what?"
Skaara struck a pose, leaning back on his heels with crossed arms and tilting his head as if to study the picture that presented itself to him. He had to admit; the older man was very striking indeed.
He and Kasuf had chosen the raiment with care. They had selected the dark gray clothing of the Warrior for their new family member and the cloud colored garment was decorated with black embroidery and accouterments. The sash that held the knife scabbard was decorated in a similar pattern as the stitchery around the edges of the cloak and gleamed occasionally with naquada beadwork. The man's tanned, lean hawk face, dark eyes and silver laced hair carried forth the image of wisdom and experience. O'Neill looked, Skaara decided, wonderful.
Dan'yel also stepped shyly from within the room. He was wearing his best Abydonian clothing, the beige and amber robes of a Scholar and Wiseman as befitted his intelligence and training. These two, his brothers, could only bring good fortune and benefits to the people that they were joining.
Skaara nodded, "You are both very..." he searched for a word in his brothers' language "...very uh... awesome!" Then he added a word in his native tongue. Jack looked to Daniel for a translation.
Daniel laughed self-consciously. "He said we look marvelous."
"Well, I'll agree with him about you." Jack returned gruffly. "But, I feel like I'm wearing a costume."
Daniel nodded. "You are sort of. You're not comfortable in it yet but you will be." He smiled one of 'those' smiles at Jack. "You look magnificent."
"Yeah, all I need is a camel and I'm a shoo-in for a Tony Curtis movie extra."
"We must come now, Toneecurtess and Dan-yel. The ceremony is almost ready. We must not be late. It will bring bad luck." Skaara admonished the two older men.
Jack looked into Daniel's eyes. They were happy eyes, with smile crinkles on the edges, not worry lines. "Well, that's all I need to know." He declared. "No more bad luck for me, Daniel. I've got you now, and there's no way I'm taking any chances. Let's go."
Late that night, after the ceremony, Kasuf and his sons were back safe under his roof. It had been a long, exhausting evening for the aging patriarch, but well worth all his efforts. His youngest son Skaara had been betrothed to his young sweetheart, Tien'sa to be married in six moonrises, and his good son Dan-yel had been life-bound to his lover O'Neill. There was much happiness here tonight. The old headman peeked into the rooms of his children one by one. Skaara lay stretched out on his bed dreaming of the girl. Then, he quietly slid the door open to Dan-yel's room. The younger man was asleep with his head on his partner's chest, O'Neill holding him securely. The soldier smiled at Kasuf and nodded to him. Kasuf nodded back, satisfied, closing the door behind himself.