Title: This is Different
Year: Season 7
Category: Suspense, Drama
Pairings: Mentions of a Jack/Daniel, Sam/Pete, Teal’c/Ishta
Spoilers: Any thing up to ending of Season Seven is fair game\
Summary: After Earth is taken over by Anubis, all of the SGC is killed except Jack. He was able to make it through the Quantum Mirror and it trying to find a place he can call home.
Chapter One-New Earth
Jack O’Neill stepped through the ‘gate to Earth to the familiar sounds of the iris closing and guns cocking. And the familiar sight of weapons being aimed at him. He held his hands up to show he was unarmed. He had stopped carrying weapons two weeks into his trips through the mirror. He had started his trips five months ago. Five months and still no place he can call home. Every reality he went to either already had a Jack, it’s was taken over by the Goa’uld, or Jack didn’t feel welcome. Like the last, in that one Jack had killed himself after a wrong call and not believing in Daniel had gotten SG-23 killed and SG-1 injured. He had also been a General in that reality.
“Who are you?” An SF asked never lowering his weapon and eying the man in front of him.
“Jack. My name is Jack. I am here to help.” Jack wanted to wait to see if anyone recognized him before he gave name, rank, and serial number. It was better that way. He heard the doors open and Sam and Teal’c walked into the room. Sam looked different but happy. Jack wondered if she had her Pete in this reality. Then it registered neither Sam nor Teal’c showed a slight bit happiness at seeing him. He wondered if in this place if he had been part of the SGC, or if he had died on the first mission to Abydos.
“Report, Major.” Sam said.
“He says his name is Jack and that he’s here to help. But with what I don’t know. He’s tried nothing, Col. Carter.” Jack’s eyebrows jumped at this. Sam being a Colonel was something new. In all the realities he had been to she was either a civilian or a Major. His thoughts went to Daniel. Was this a reality with a Daniel in the project?
“The General won’t be back for another two days. Check him out and put him in a cell. We will let the General talk to him. Find out why he’s in SGC BDU’s and how he got our iris code.” Sam said before walking away. She didn’t give Jack a second glance but Teal’c did. Teal’c knew he had seen this man before but he didn’t know where he had seen him before.
Two days later Jack was taken out of his cell and brought into the briefing room. He hadn’t talked saying he would wait to talk to the General. They didn’t press it. He didn’t know what to expect. Hopefully Hammond but that’s not who he got. He looked at the back of the man in front of him. He knew he knew that body shape but he couldn’t place it. While being here no one visited him. He was given food three times a day and that was it. Once he was taken to shower. The man was yelling now. His shoulder turned and Jack saw two stars on this man’s lapel. A Major General. So same rank as Hammond but not Hammond. And the voice well it was deeper than he thought it should be. His senses screamed he should know this man. Since he hadn’t started the entropic-cascade failure stuff he knew that Jack O’Neill was either dead or never existed.
“How did this happen?” The General demanded of the scientist in front of him. She cringed but held her ground.
“I don’t know, General. It will take three hours to get the gate running again. Seems Siler was the cause.” The scientist said. She seemed ready to bolt as soon as she could.
“For cryin’ out loud! Well, have Colonel Carter help with the repairs. I don’t want it to happen again. I leave for two days and everything goes to hell in a hand basket. Dismissed.” Jack was surprised the man said things that he himself would normally say but it wasn’t him. He knew that. It couldn’t be. Not since he wasn’t being ripped apart.
“Sir, we have the man who came through the gate.” The guard said. The General spun around shock in his eyes once he got a look at Jack. Jack copied the look. Standing in front of him in BDU’s with the rank of Major General was his Dr. Daniel Jackson.
“Daniel?” Jack said. The guards looked at Jack funny. Thinking ‘how does this man know the General’s first name.’ Then they tensed ready to do whatever the General asked.
“Uncuff him then leave him.” The guards started to protest but Daniel held up a hand. “Am I giving orders or suggestions here? I said now, Airmen!” The guards uncuffed him then walked out the door they came in. Daniel didn’t say anything just stared at Jack. Almost waiting for him to disappear.
“Come here.” Daniel said. His voice soft and caring. A total 180 from his tone used seconds before. Jack complied. “You look like him. The scar. The manor. But you aren’t. Another reality?”
“Yes, so you know me. Why doesn’t anyone else?” Jack asked trying not to hug the man. Daniel was also having the same problem but neither man knew the other one was.
“I don’t know about your reality. We’ve met a few which were really different. I think we are the odd one out. But here after the first mission to Abydos the program stayed open. Ferretti, Kawalsky, you and I comprised SG-1. We had seven other teams. General Hammond replaced General West. Were you military there? Here you were a Major.”
“Yes, a Colonel. What do I call you?” Jack didn’t know what to call him. He didn’t think that Daniel was appropriate but he didn’t think he could call Daniel ‘sir.’
“What was I in your reality?” Daniel said. He wanted to know how different these two realities really were.
“A doctor of archeology.” Jack answered.
“Daniel is fine. I still am here but I also hold the rank of Major General. Once I joined the military I was trained to work on this project. After the mishap in 1945 they had small groups of military men working on it. Anyway, we went to a planet called Argos. That’s where you died. We didn’t figure it out in time. Sam was brought shortly after that. We returned to Earth after a mission to find that a Goa’uld had taken some people. We went to Abydos to see if they were all right to find that Sha’re and Skaara were taken. We were able to get the address to Chulak. There we were taken hostage and able to escape with the help of a Jaffa named Teal’c. How about you?”
“Mostly the same. But you stayed on Abydos with Sha’re. The ‘gate program was shut down. I lived through Argos because of Sam. And I was the one to turn Teal’c.” Daniel looked at him. He missed this man. He heard a knock on the briefing room door.
“Enter.” Daniel said turning to face who ever came in. Sam and Teal’c entered the room. Sam had a wary look on her face at seeing Jack out of the cuffs and no guards around. “Sam, Teal’c. I am glad you came. This is Jack O’Neill, from another reality. I’m guessing you didn’t recognize him.”
“Indeed. That is where he was familiar from. The picture on your desk, Daniel Jackson.” Teal’c nodded to the man. Jack nodded back, smiling.
“Yes, Did you two want something?” For a second he forgot about Jack. He went straight into military mode. Which was nice. Too many emotions.
“Pete’s out of town so I was wondering if you wanted to grab a bite to eat.” Sam asked wanting to talk to Jack. All that alternate reality stuff.
“Pete? Your with him even here?” Jack said. Sam looked at him, surprise on her face.
“Yes, he’s my husband. I am just so glad to meet you, Major O’Neill.” Sam said walking up to him and shaking his hand.
“Actually, Sam, for him its Colonel. But I think it would be best to get Jack out of here to talk. If you two don’t mind?” Daniel knew that Jack may ask some personal questions and here wasn’t the place to do it.
“No.” Teal’c said.
“It’s fine. I want to compare realities.” Sam said.
“This must a freer military. In my reality if Carter called Daniel by his first name she would be reprimanded.” Jack said before anyone could leave.
“Yes, here they would too. Unless you work in the mountain. Frat regs are gone too. Due to the nature of the problem. Most can’t get lives and live them with the secrecy of the job. So we have made changes. But most don’t do the name thing. It’s General. Except Sam. But let’s talk about that later. I am hungry. You do like steaks don’t you?” Daniel asked turning to look at Jack.
“Some things don’t change.” Jack said smiling.
“Yeah, Teal’c take him to find some clothes.” Teal’c nodded and walked out. Jack followed. Once they were out of earshot Daniel’s shoulders slumped and he walked to his office. He picked up a picture. The picture was of himself ad Jack kissing.
“Can you do this?” Sam asked. She had heard about Daniel and Jack’s relationship the moment she set foot on the base. They had met when they were both Majors. The relationship had stayed through Daniel’s promotions due to his job. Then Jack had been transferred onto the base. Then Abydos happened. She knew that after Jack had died he had almost killed himself. But hadn’t due to his promise to the man he loved and his stubbornness. He advanced rather quickly in the SGC to Colonel until Hammond had died of a heart attack. Then he was promoted to Brigadier General. His promotion to Major General was just recent, under two months.
“Yeah, he may not want to stay. You know in his reality I was just a doctor of archeology. Not in the military. And it seems I was straight.” Daniel smiled weakly at this.
“Well, we need to change. Can’t go out in our BDU’s.”
“Better than our BVD’s.” Daniel joked. “And what about Charlie?”
Chapter Two Daniel’s Son
“Yes, it is. DNA tests confirm it. Well seeing as how his reality differed from ours we could use him. He may know more than we do. Since Col. Breen is flying a desk job now he could be the replacement on SG-1. No, I don’t know who would lead. I understand, Sir. Yes, I will talk to him.” Jack knocked on the door. Daniel turned and smiled then motioned for Jack to come in a take a seat. “I don’t know. He has never talked about staying. Well, I don’t know why he wouldn’t, Sir. Yes, I will try. I won’t force him to. We have no right to do that. Have a nice day too, Sir.”
“Talking about me behind my back?” Jack asked as Daniel hung up the phone. Daniel smiled and picked up the phone again. He didn’t say anything just dialed a number.
“Yes, Please find Col. Carter and Teal’c and have them meet me in the briefing room. Thanks, Walter.” He hung up the phone. “You are allowed to stay if you want. You will even have the rank you had in your reality. But whether you join SG-1 is up to you and Sam. She has been the leader of SG-1 for two months. Col. Breen retired. He took over for SG-1 when I became a Brigadier General. She may just let you have the lead. If not you two can fight over it. Her promotion is new. Just under two months. That’s how long I have been a Major General. But housing will be hard. Due to what we are doing here. It will take a few months to get you papers so you can live on your own. Plus, this world is a little different from yours. As you found out.”
“Yeah, that it is.” Jack said remembering how much this Colorado Springs was different from his.
“You can live here on the base until that time, or you can move in with Teal’c, Sam, or I.” Daniel said as he moved to walk to the briefing room.
“Teal’c lives off base?” Jack asked. That was different. This government was different from his. Way different. They wouldn’t trust Teal’c to live off base.
“Yes, since I became leader of the SGC near four years ago. I pushed for it and it was approved. He lives rather well. No trouble. Except being a really good neighbor. Helps little old ladies. Fixes leaks and such.” Daniel said. He was trying to find a way to tell Jack why he was living in the house that Jack probably owned in the other reality. Daniel had taken the pictures of him and Jack off the desk. Except one, it was a picture of Jack and himself in front of an open wormhole. Nothing wrong about that one. Noting revealing.
“So Teal’c lives in a what?” Jack asked. He wanted to know whether he actually owned a house.
“Apartment. Sam lives with Pete in a house. And I live in a house, alone.” Daniel said. He was regretting the alone thing now. His son had moved out two years ago when he had started college.
“So it would be better if I stayed with you.” Jack asked hoping that if he lived with Daniel he may get the courage to talk about what was going on between him and Daniel in his reality.
“Somewhat.” Daniel answered. Jack saw the look on Daniel’s face. He was keeping something from him, he wondered what. “But first you need clothes, and other things. So we need to go shopping. I have taken the rest of the day so that we can do that. Once we get SG-1 sorted out. You may just have to deal with leading another team.”
“I understand. I never thought that I would be able to just pop over and get my life back. Nor did I think it would be this easy.” Jack said. And he hadn’t. He remembered what a hassle Dr. Carter and Kawalsky went through in his reality.
“We were host to a group of refugees from an AR a few years ago. They stayed for a few weeks while we got a plan together to free their world from the Goa’uld. Seems that SG-1 died on Apophis’s ship in that reality. They also had a device that stopped Entropic-Cascade. But they did not leave it with us. Seems that the plans were destroyed and they couldn’t make anymore. We helped them contact the Asgard and free their world. In light of that we are rather happy to accommodate people from AR’s.” Jack nodded at this. Then Sam and Teal’c entered the briefing room. Jack and Daniel moved out of Daniel’s office to speak to them.
“Daniel, what’s the problem?” Sam asked once they all were in room.
“Well I have agreement from the Air Force, Pentagon, and President to allow Jack to stay here. So, what to do with him?” Daniel said. Sam knew that she could say whatever she would like in front of Daniel. He had long ago told her that, as long as they were alone. Daniel had also explained this to Jack. Jack was having trouble getting used to the rules here under the mountain. He saw people hugging and laughing in the corridors. He even saw two men kissing. He asked Daniel about that and said that in this military gays were allowed.
“That’s good. What do you want to do with him?” Sam asked. She didn’t know what they had talked about. He and Jack.
“He wants to join a team.” Daniel said. He didn’t say which team Jack wanted to join.
“You know I am right here.” Jack said, dignity hurt a little.
“Sorry, Jack.” Daniel said. But he smiled.
“Who would lead?” Sam asked hoping they knew what she was talking about.
“I don’t care. That would be for you two to work out.” Daniel said. He smirked. “I am not getting in the middle of it.”
“You led SG-1 for how long?” Teal’c asked looking at Jack.
“From the beginning, I’d say seven years.” Jack said. He looked down at the table.
“He would be better suited than me.” Sam said. Jack looked up at her. She was going to give up leading the team to him?
“Probably.” Daniel said. He looked at Jack. “I never got to see your leadership abilities here. I was the leader. I have no reference. So how about a trial period? Take a few missions, see if Sam and Teal’c like the way you do things. If not you’re leading another team and I will find someone to replace Breen.”
“Yea sure you betcha.” Jack said. He heard voices coming down the hall. He nearly fainted when he saw Janet Fraiser walk into the room.
“Janet, back so soon. I thought you were gone another week?” Daniel asked standing to hug Janet. Behind her came a little girl. “And why are you hiding, Aurora?”
“Who’s that?” Aurora asked. She looked at Jack with fear.
“Oh, that’s an old friend of mine. Jack, I would like you to meet my daughter, Aurora.”
“Excuse me?” Janet said. Jack looked at her. Her eyes twinkled with happiness.
“Sorry, Mine and Janet’s daughter. Sorry. Where’s Charlie?” Daniel asked wanting to know where his son was. This was going to be hard on both of them
“He’ll be by. He wouldn’t miss Aurora’s birthday.” Janet said.
“No party, right?” Aurora asked. Aurora hated parties. She just wanted to get the gifts and get out of there.
“Yes, no party, baby.” Daniel said pulling her into a hug.
“You and Daniel are married?” Jack asked. Janet laughed.
“No. I asked him to give me a child near six years ago. Yesterday she turned five. I loved raising Cassie and helping with Charlie and I wanted one of my own. I asked he said yes. Though the taking was fun.” Janet laughed her eyes twinkling.
“Janet…” Daniel warned. “Aurora, why don’t you go find Charlie and tell him his dad wants to see him pronto. Then why don’t you go find something to eat?”
“Yes, Daddy.” Aurora ran off.
“So you have two kids.” Jack asked his stomach dropping. He was hoping that here he and Daniel were together. Or at least there was the chance. But it seemed that this Daniel was straight.
“Only one is mine. Charlie is not mine. His mother died during childbirth and when his father was killed I adopted him.” Daniel said moving away from Janet. Janet knew that this man was Charlie’s real dad. She had seen so many pictures of all three together. And she had heard of the man from the alternate reality.
“Who was the father?” Jack asked, fearing the answer. But Daniel didn’t have to answer when Charlie came into the room. Charlie stood still where he was standing. Standing in front of Jack was an eighteen-year-old Charlie.
“Jack!” Charlie said. He ran forward and hugged Jack. Jack stood there dumbfounded. Charlie stepped back when he felt his dad go rigid.
“Jack, don’t you know your own son? He was your son right?” Daniel asked he was puzzled. He had hoped that there had been a Charlie in Jack’s reality. Maybe he was wrong.
“I…my Charlie was killed when he was ten. Killed by my own gun. Sara survived the childbirth.” Jack said looking at Charlie.
“Jack, I’m sorry. If I had known I would have done this different. You never talked about it. That could never happen here. You never kept a gun in the house. You weren’t allowed.” Daniel said moving to rub Jack’s back. He kept back that Daniel was the one to not let him have a gun in the house. To Charlie seeing his parents together again made his happy. Daniel had told him that Jack had come through the ‘gate but he didn’t believe it. Not until he saw it.
“Why’d you…?” Jack asked wanting to know what would make Daniel adopt his kid after he died. By the looks of it they were friends but not real close.
“After you died, I raised him. Who else was there? Your parents had disowned you long before then. Sara’s dad didn’t want anything to do with a tainted child, as Charlie was called. Since he and Cassie were roughly the same age they hung out all the time. Janet helped me when she could. So did Sam and Teal’c. He’s in his second year of college, archeology. The president thought that he should be in the program. Since his father died in it, and his other father was living it.” Daniel watched Jack’s face for a reaction to that but didn’t get one. He thought that Jack must not have caught it.
“Oh. Why did my parents disown me? Why was Charlie ‘tainted’?” Jack was puzzled. In his reality, Sara’s father loved Charlie.
“Jack, you mean to tell me that in your reality you and Daniel weren’t lovers like here?” Charlie asked. Daniel looked away form Jack waiting for the rebuke about being a fag. Jack looked at Daniel wondering why Daniel hadn’t told him. Why was Daniel going out of his way to be nice when this must be killing him inside? To be so close to an old lover and not be able to hold and touch.
“Well…we were about a month into a relationship. I just thought that it didn’t happen here. Daniel, you never acted that way.” Jack said. He looked at Daniel to find Daniel with his back to him and him staring at the ‘gate. Janet saw that the men needed to talk.
“Charlie, Sam, Teal’c, I think they need to have a talk. Alone. Let’s go make sure Aurora isn’t terrorizing the guards.” Charlie didn’t want to leave his Dad right now. He knew what his Dad was like inside. The emotions that were probably just on the surface.
“Daniel?” He asked. Not wanting to confuse anybody by calling out dad and getting Jack’s answer. Jack had noticed that he wasn’t Dad. It had been Jack. And no wonder. Daniel had been raising him for about eight years.
“I’m fine, Son. Just make sure Aurora is. She may understand all this. God, she grew up around it.” Charlie nodded and walked out.
Chapter Three Tidal Waves
Jack moved to stand behind Daniel. Daniel could see him in the reflection. He could see the sorrow in Jack’s eyes. The real reason he hadn’t brought it up was because if this Jack had been straight he didn’t think he could bare his soul and then have it ripped out. He still thought that. What if he was too different from the Daniel he had fallen in love with? What if Jack couldn’t get past him being military? Jack placed his hand on Daniel’s shoulder. Daniel just shrugged out of it.
“Don’t. Please just don’t. It’s too much.” Daniel was finally crumbling. His military training was failing. His emotions were getting too much.
“How long were you two together?” Jack asked. Wanting to know how long in this reality that he was openly gay. And how long his alter got to be in love with Daniel.
“We got together about two years after Sarah’s death, so about eight years. We raised Charlie together. When we first met we were both Majors. I had been advanced a lot due to my training. And because of that allowances were made about the rules of being with a superior officers. I was promoted to Lt. Col. a few months after Jack and I got together. Then Colonel when Jack died. When Hammond died they promoted me again so I could run the base. I became a Maj. Gen. just less than two months ago. I nearly killed myself when Jack died. But he made me promise not to. And that I would raise Charlie. But I couldn’t stand it. I tried once. I had the gun in my mouth here on the base. I didn’t want Charlie to find me. Then I looked at my desk. There sat a picture of Jack, Charlie, and I. I lost it right then. Sam found me and took the gun away.” Jack had noticed that Daniel’s voice got smaller as the story went on. By the end he was actually crying. He still hadn’t turned around. Jack turned him around and pulled Daniel to his chest. Daniel tried to fight it but it was weak and halfhearted. In the end he just held onto Jack while he cried.
“It’s alright, Danny. I’m here. When I got here I thought you were so different from my Daniel. But you’re not. You still care too much and about everyone but yourself.” Jack just held Daniel while he cried as the tears subsided Jack felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to see Charlie and Janet.
“Take him home. Talk there. Sam will take care of the base. Here are the keys to his jeep.” Charlie said. Jack noticed the only sympathy was for Daniel. Jack looked at him and nodded.
“Let’s get you home, Danny.” Jack said. Daniel pulled back and started to walk out of the room to change. Jack tried to follow. Charlie stopped him.
“Let Janet take care of him. You and I need to talk.” Charlie said as Janet followed Daniel out of the room.
“What about?” Jack asked looking at Charlie.
“He’s been my only parent for eight years. Because of him I am in my second year of college when I should just be starting. He didn’t cry when Jack died. He wouldn’t let himself. He didn’t show weakness in front of anybody. From people he saw serving with I found out his nickname was ‘Ice Bitch’ no one thought he would fall in love with anybody. There was this one guy who Dad had been with for a short time. I must have been eight. We were at the park. Frank was his name. He saw Dad at the park. He made the comment that Dad was patrolling for a lay. I ran to him and jumped in his arms screaming ‘Dad!’ He started to tickle me. Then Jack came over and kissed him. Frank was dumbfounded. That Dad and Jack had been together for six years and that Dad would even consider going with a man who had a kid. Especially such a young kid. Essentially you are not my father, my father died eight years ago. If you hurt him I will castrate you, Jack.” Charlie turned and left. Jack stared at his retreating form for a few seconds before moving to change. He found Daniel sitting in the passenger seat of the jeep. His eyes still teary and red from crying. But Jack knew he wouldn’t want to talk. Not until they got to the house. Jack drove and didn’t even think about asking for directions. The thought that Daniel didn’t live at his house didn’t cross his mind. Until he pulled up in front of it. Then he turned to ask and saw the mailbox, D. Jackson.
“I guess this was your place in your reality?” Daniel asked sliding out of his seat and onto the ground.
“Yeah, I didn’t even think to ask. I just drove. I’m glad you stayed. Most wouldn’t have.” Jack said shutting his door and walking to the sidewalk.
“It was all I had left. This house and Charlie. They didn’t go to your funeral. Your parents.” Daniel said as he pulled out his keys and opened the door.
“What about yours?” Jack asked as they entered the house.
“They died when I was…” Daniel started.
“Eight.” Jack finished for him. Daniel looked at him and smiled. Jack didn’t say anything just looked around the house. This house was the perfect balance of Jack and Daniel. Ancient artifacts and space stuff. All over were pictures of Jack and Daniel. Both of them with Charlie. Each with Charlie. Singles of all three. Both men jumped when a knock came at the door. Daniel turned and opened it. Jack moved so no one could see him.
“Mrs. Brown, how are you?” Daniel said forcing his voice to be cheerful.
“I’m fine, Daniel. I just wanted to bring you by some brownies. You need fattening.” Jack smiled and remembered his Mrs. Brown, when she had been like that. Before she found out that Jack liked to sleep with other men.
“You’ve said that for eight years.” Daniel said smiling. But he took the plate anyway. They smelled fresh.
“And I’ll keep saying it until you find someone to care for you. Even if it’s just a friend. I know you still love Jack. Have a nice day dearie.” Mrs. Brown said before turning and walking back to her own house.
“She’s not the same Mrs. Brown I know. She screamed sinner when she caught Daniel and I kissing.” Jack said as Daniel shut the door.
“So did she. Until a person robbing the house shot me. She saw the love in Jack’s eyes that night when I was on the stretcher. She couldn’t deny the love between us. Since then she’s adopted me. She dotes on Charlie when he’s home from Chicago. Said we have raised him better than most hetero couples raise theirs. Coffee?” Daniel said before moving into kitchen. Jack leaned on the frame and chuckled. Daniel turned and looked at him. “What?”
“My Daniel was a coffee addict, chocolate, and wasn’t very nice in the morning.” Jack said remembering the mornings he would get cussed at until he brought coffee to Daniel.
“Guilty.” Daniel said sheepishly. He found this Jack so much like his own it was hard not to feel those feelings start again. He took a few breaths and shut off the emotions. He had revealed too many today. In a few minutes the coffee was done. He poured himself a cup and moved so that Jack could do the same. Jack took one look at Daniel’s face and knew that Daniel had shut off his emotions.
“How did you and Jack meet?” Jack asked wanting to know about his counter part.
“I was on leave from the mountain. Vacationing in Florida, Kissimmee to be exact. I went to Disney World. I had never been there. I had just finished my second degree. I was twenty-three. I’d just gotten off a ride…”
Chapter Four The Stories
Daniel stepped off the ride he had been on waiting for his stomach to settle. He looked around and saw a little boy crying. He went over to him. The little boy didn’t say anything. Daniel noticed the tags on the boy’s neck. Daniel pulled his tags out of his pocket and showed them to the little boy. He let Daniel pick him up. Daniel walked to the nearest info booth and looked at the tags the kid was wearing.
“Has a Major Jonathan O’Neill come looking for his child?” The lady shakes her head no and Daniel moves to sit on a bench.
“What’s your name?” Daniel asked the kid.
“Charlie O’Neill.” Charlie answers.
“You can call me Danny. How old are you?” Charlie holds up two fingers.
“You’re a big boy. What’s your daddy look like?”
“Tall, hair lighter than yours. No funny eye things.” Daniel laughed at the kid’s description. Charlie was still in his arms and snuggled against his chest. Twenty minutes later Charlie was asleep. Daniel looked down at him and noticed that the kid had wrapped his little hand around Daniel’s tags. Around a half and hour later Daniel saw a man looking around the crown. Worry in his eyes. Daniel saw the he was tall and had brownish blonde hair. Daniel waved his arm and the man saw it. Then he saw the kid in Daniel’s arms. Relief washed over his face. He ran to Daniel and Charlie.
“Major Jonathan O’Neill?” Daniel asked.
“Jack. Yes, how did you get him to come to you?” Jack asked looking Daniel in the eyes.
“Dog Tags. Major Daniel Jackson.” Daniel tried to hand the sleeping child off to Jack but he wouldn’t let go.
“Thank you.” Jack said trying to take him.
“I don’t want to wake him. How about I walk you two to your car?” Daniel said. Jack’s face got a shy look come over it.
“We took a bus here. It’s another hour till the next.” Jack said.
“Oh. Well I’ll drive you to your hotel. I dare say you both had some excitement today.” Daniel said as Charlie stirred a little. Daniel started rubbing his back.
“I wouldn’t want to put you out.” Jack said looking at Daniel. Jack liked how that looked to see this Daniel holding Charlie.
“No, it’s fine. I was leaving anyway.” Daniel said as they left the park.
“No kids?” Jack asked. Daniel ducked his head and smiled shyly.
“No. I had just never been here before. Not really to amusement parks.”
“You can’t be a Major. Way to young.” Jack said. He really looked at this kid. No age lines in sight.
“Special training. I’ve officially been with the military eight years. Went to college at 15. Long story.” Daniel said motioning to his car. “What about you, Jack?”
“Well I’m thirty three been in it since I was 18.”
“No need to collect anyone else. Charlie’s mom?” Daniel said just now noticing that there had been no mention of a mom. Daniel took the keys from his pocket and handed them to Jack
“Died in childbirth. Just me and him.” Jack said taking the keys from Daniel and getting into the drivers seat.
“…we were staying at the same hotel. Charlie became attached to me. I spent the next three days waking up at god-awful hours to go out and around the town with Jack and Charlie. Charlie was sad to see me go. But I had my job to get back to. Because of the nature of my job no one could know where I work other than out west. So we talked over the phone a lot. No letters or such. Charlie looked forward to that call every week. Then one week after I was dome talking to Charlie Jack told me he was being moved. Top-secret local. So it may be a week or two before he’s able to call and talk. Getting moved and settled in and such. About a week later I went to General West’s office to meet the newest recruit. He was being brought in because of his degree in Astronomy. I didn’t look at his file. I wouldn’t be working with him. I was with the archeologists. He’d be with the scientists. But since I was the lead of the archeo’s I had to meet him. I walked into the office to be staring in the face of Jack. West was happy that we knew each other. Might make things more hospitable between the eggheads and the geeks. Geeks being the archeo’s and eggheads being the scientists. Self inflicted nicknames.
“Jack and I arranged to meet at his place for dinner that night. So I could give him the run down of the project. He picked up Charlie from the sitter’s and cooked dinner. When Jack opened the door to let me in and Charlie got sight of me he squealed. I never wanted to fall in love. And boy was I scared when I noticed that I had. I started to pull away. Slowly at first. Then more and more. Jack showed up one night at my apartment. I opened the door and before I could shut it he pushed past. I told him to leave but he wouldn’t. I screamed at him to leave. He was always stronger than I was. He pinned me against the wall and demanded to know why I was pulling away. Having him holding me against the wall like that was a sort of fantasy. And boy was it getting a reaction. I tried to wiggle out of his grip but all that did was make him put a leg between mine so I couldn’t go anywhere. Well that made sure he could feel the reaction it was having on me. Even to this day I can feel and hear him say those words in my ear.
‘Why didn’t you say something, Danny?’ he then plastered his body against mine. I could feel his erection as well. And that was too much. Way too much. ‘Is it love or lust, Danny?’ He may be stronger. But I was quicker. I was able to shove him backwards and make it to my bedroom before he could catch me. I had the door shut and locked before he even got near it. The thoughts in my head just kept on spinning. I couldn’t love. Not him. Not anyone. It would all end badly. Luckily I had just ate so I wouldn’t need to do that. And my bathroom is connected to my bedroom. So won’t have to leave for that. After two hours he got the idea and left.
“Next day at work we acted normal. I come visit Charlie on the weekends when I had time. One night I was sitting at home and the phone rang. I answered it and heard nothing. Then a little voice spoke over the phone.
‘Danny? Danny, daddy’s sick. He can’t move.’ My heart crumbled.
‘I’ll be there soon, Charlie. Just hold on.’ I rushed over to Jack’s. Luckily the door was unlocked. Charlie met me in the living room and showed me to where Jack was. I checked on him. He was burning up. I called for an ambulance. Several hours later they finally got him into a room. He had phenomena. But they wouldn’t let me in. After hours and I’m not family. But Charlie wouldn’t go in with the nurse and he was starting to make scene even with me trying to calm him down. So they let me in. Charlie crawled up in bed with him and I sat beside him. I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up that morning one of Jack’s hands was rubbing my head and the other was holding my hand. I sat up and saw Charlie eating Jack’s breakfast.
“I guess you could say the rest is history. How’d you and your Daniel get together?” Daniel asked after his long story. Jack smiled. His was nowhere near that long or that winded.
“Well, uhh, in 1996 Daniel was brought to crack the code on the coverstsone. He saved my life on Abydos. Charlie had just recently died by my gun. He stayed on Abydos with his new wife Sha’re. Year later Apophis’s goons come through the ‘gate and make trouble. We spend the next seven or so years fighting the Goa’uld. One of which he spends as and Ascended being.”
“Like Oma Desala?” Daniel asked.
“Yeah, anyway he got kicked out of there for helping us with Anubis. Came back with no memory. Took that for me to cop to the feelings I had for him. And a good long while before I did anything about it. We were celebrating a month together when Anubis attacked.” Jack said. Daniel knew that his story was done. No more on it.
“We destroyed Anubis six months ago. It cost us a good soldier who downloaded the ancient information in his brain. We weren’t able to contact the Asgard on time. He died in the outpost.” Daniel said looking in to his coffee cup.
Chapter Five Home Life
Daniel set down his coffee cup and picked up his phone.
“What Chinese food do you want?” Daniel asked. Jack looked at him. This Daniel was way better at handling his emotions.
“General Tso’s Chicken. I’m gonna use the restroom.” Jack said setting down his coffee cup and motioning upstairs. Out of habit he went to the master bathroom connected to the master bedroom. After he was done he walked out and looked at the bedroom. He looked to the left side of the bed, where he normally slept and saw only a picture on the stand. It was on of Jack and Daniel. It had to be early in the relationship because Daniel still looked so young. Daniel was on Jack’s back and they were both smiling. In the background he could see people and it looked at though they had been playing football in the park.
On the right side of the bed on the stand sat another picture. This one had all three or them in it. Jack could see the Christmas tree in the background along with presents scattered around the floor. Then he saw the dog. A small black puppy. Charlie had to be near ten in this picture. Charlie sits in front of the tree holding the dog and Jack and Daniel were seated behind him petting the dog. All three wore giant smiles. Charlie had always wanted a dog. Then Jack saw the dog tags sitting near the picture. Jack picked them up.
“They’re his. Hammond let me keep them. Records say they went to his family. Even before they found out about me fucking their son they didn’t like me. First time I met them they had stopped by for a surprise visit. It had to have been a week or so after Jack got back from the hospital. I came by with papers for him to sign about work. He wouldn’t be back for another two days. John took one look at me and scowled. Marie didn’t even look at me. I think they knew. Of his family only Aunt Maggie accepted it. But she died two years into the relationship.” Daniel said moving and taking the tags from Jack. Jack handed them over.
“Where’s the dog?” Jack asked pointing at the picture.
“Oh, Jake down the street’s watching her. I was going to go pick her up soon. That was the last Christmas with us together as a family. Charlie was so happy that morning when he woke up to find her curled up with him in her bed. Pure blood black lab. Her name’s Starry. Jack named her for the Stargate. He thought it was funny. Do you want to meet her?” Daniel looked at him. Jack wondered if the dog would know whether he was a different person.
“Sure. My Charlie always wanted a dog. We were going to get him one for Christmas the year he died. Why didn’t you let Jack keep his gun in the house?”
“I was on a dig. They kept guns around in case some wild animal got into the dig. A young girl about eight found a loaded one and shot her foot off. I was near her when it happened. After that I never wanted to touch a gun. But I wanted the military more. I just never used them if I didn’t have to. Since I was just in the military for the Stargate project it was easy to not have to handle one. Boy was I happy when we found the Zats. So much better. Well, I’ll go get Starry. The Chinese should be here soon. The money’s on the stand by the door. Check to make sure that it’s not someone from the neighborhood before you answer. I think we may want to save that for when we have a story for how you are alive.” Daniel said before leaving the room. Jack just simply nodded. He understood. Having Jack open the door and having Mrs. Brown standing out there would probably give her a heart attack. And for the first time Jack wonders about the cover story they used to cover up Jack’s death. Was there anyway for Jack to jus
t mysteriously come back to life. Before he could really get into it the doorbell rang. Jack walked to it and looked out the peephole. He could see the hat that said the kid was from the local Chinese restaurant and so he opened the door.
“Hey, Gen…your not General Jackson.” The kid said.
“No, I’m a friend who’s in town. What was the total?” Jack asked. The kid eyed him up and down.
“Uh, fifteen even. I thought he got a lot of food. Just thought Charlie was in town.” Jack smiled and looked at the money Daniel had laid out. A note was on it. ‘no change.’ Jack smiled.
“Here, keep the change.” Jack said. Handing the two bills to the kid. The kid eyed the ten and the twenty and saw he was getting a fifteen-dollar tip. And he smiled at Jack.
“Guess you do know the General. Bye. Hope you stay around. He needs someone.” The kid said. Before turning to leave.
“Hey, what’s your name?” Jack asked wanting to know the name of the kid who seemed to know so much about Daniel.
“Steve. The Gen knows me. I’m the only one who he’ll let deliver to his place. Bye.” The kid turned around again and walked back to his car. As the kid drove away Jack heard him honk his horn. Then he heard a dog back. “General!”
“Steve.” Daniel said as he waved to Steve. Jack smiled. “Starry, no. Calm down.” Jack looked at the dog. She was tugging to get out of Daniel’s grip. The dog wanted to get to him. “I’d put the food down and get into the house. She’ll tackle you.”
“I got it. Let her go.” Jack said after setting the food down and taking a few steps into the house. Starry did barrel him down. And he emerged a few minutes later with a face covered in dog saliva.
“She has missed you. She may have been Charlie’s dog but she loved you dearly. Starry, go eat.” Daniel said to the dog. She went off and started to eat. “Help your self to a shower. My clothes should fit. Just wear what you find.”
“Thanks.” Jack said before moving towards the bathroom.
“Don’t worry, Star. He’ll be back.” Jack heard Daniel say as Daniel entered the kitchen to serve the food.
“I have to go to the base around five. So set your alarm accordingly.” Daniel said as he helped Jack put the sheets on the bed in the guest room. “I don’t like to be late.”
“That’s early. Even for you.” Jack said. Daniel nodded and moved to throw Jack a pillow so he could put the case on it.
“Well SG-18 is leaving at 5:30. They are bartering with the inhabitants of P9H-212. They want to talk over breakfast. I usually go in around six anyway. Sleep well, Jack. Start may want in at some point. So I’d leave the door open. She’s allowed to sleep at the bottom of the bed, if it’s fine with you.” Daniel said moving to the door.
“I don’t mind. Night, Daniel. Oh, Where’s Charlie?”
“Probably at Janet’s. He wants to spend time with Aurora. She hates parties. So we just give her presents.”
“So, how’s the situation explained to her?” Jack asked as he sits down on the bed. Daniel leans against the doorframe.
“The truth. She’s like me. She understands everything. She knows I love her mom just not that way. Friday she’ll be coming here to stay for a week. It’s Easter Break and she’ll be coming to the base everyday. Janet and Cass are going to Washington. Some seminar they’ve turned into a trip.”
“She’s allowed on the base all the time?” Jack asked. That’s strange.
“Since she was three. She couldn’t sleep so we were sitting in the living room watching a documentary. Next thing I know I was standing on the newest Asgard ship and Aurora was saying ‘aliens. Thor was apologizing, he didn’t know Aurora was in my lap.” Daniel said with a smile on his face.
“What did Thor want?” Jack asked. Daniel looked away.
“To drop off some Goa’uld weapons they found and to ask my permission to use the name they want for their new ship. ‘The O’Neill'”
“Ahh, my ‘O’Neill’ was destroyed destroying the Replicators’ over the Asgard home world.”
“Really? For us that was the Jackson. I’m tired. We can compare more later.”
Chapter Six New Family
“So, Carter, how long have you been married to Pete?” Jack asked as they made their way back to the ‘gate early because they needed him at the base.
“Two years. I’ve known him for three. O’Neill, there’s someone at the ‘gate.” Jack and Sam both bring their weapons to bear on the man at the ‘gate.
“Please, help me.” The man says staying where he is.
“O’Neill?” Sam asked.
“Let’s radio back. Ask Jackson.” Jack said as he dialed the ‘gate. Jack didn’t enter the IDC but he did click his radio twice.
“Go ahead, SG team.” Walter said.
“It’s O’Neill. We’ve got a man here wanting help. He was standing at the ‘gate waiting. Please advise.” Jack said. He heard talking coming over his radio.
“General Jackson’s preparing to go through. Wait for him.” Walter said then the ‘gate shut down.
“He’s coming through. Isn’t that against the rules?” Jack asked looking at Sam.
“No. Not here. Plus since Teal’c doesn’t have Junior anymore he’s the only one who can check to see if a person is a Goa’uld.” Jack’s eyes widened.
“You mean he was taken my Jolinar and not you?” Jack asked.
“Yes, that would have been strange. Me snaked.” Sam said. Jack laughed.
“Who named Teal’c’s snake Junior?”
“Daniel.” Sam said as the ‘gate opened and Daniel stepped out. Zat aimed in front of him. He looked at the man then smiled.
“He’s no Goa’uld. Who are you?” Daniel asked as he put the Zat back in its holster.
“My name is Ren. My village is many miles that way. We have no food. Can you spare some for us?” Daniel stepped up to the man. He smiled and pulled out an energy bar. He tore it open and handed it to the man. He started eating it.
“How many in your village?” Daniel asked.
“In an hour some people will come through the ring. You will show then to your village. They will have food for you village.” Ren nodded and Daniel stepped back on to the platform. “Jack, take us home.”
Back on Earth Daniel made ready to take food to the village. Jack cornered him in his office. Daniel was getting ready to sit down.
“Permission to speak freely, Sir?” Jack asked Daniel. Daniel erected himself and moved and shut the door before sitting down.
“Always speak your mind, Jack.” Daniel said as he waved for Jack to sit down.
“You don’t know what they could be walking into. He may no have been a Goa’uld but that doesn’t mean that there is Jaffa waiting for them at that village.” Jack said remaining standing.
“Yes, I know. That’s why the SG-3 Marines are going in. Weapons ready along with SG-13 and a med staff. Jack, we’ve done this before. Food and medicine where it’s needed. Medicine or just good company. Sure we’ve got out hands burned before but it’s worth it. It’s all volunteers. I don’t force SG teams to do missionary work. This will be the 37th planet we’ve helped.” Jack couldn’t look Daniel in the eye. He still saw his Daniel trying to be military.
“You didn’t know. Now you do. No harm, no foul. Why don’t you take a day or two and read some of the mission files from SG-1. I’ll have them sent to your office.” Daniel said picking up his phone. He dialed a number and spoke for a minute or so. Then he hung up.
“Office?” Jack asked.
“Yes, as rank goes you are second in command. You have to have and office. Sam never needed one because she had her lab. It’s been empty since I left it. It’s being set up now. Do you read your memos?” Daniel asked standing he motioned for Jack to follow him.
“Sometimes…no.” Jack said. Daniel turned and smiled at him.
“Neither did my Jack. He said that if it was important enough he would find out about it.”
“Damn straight.” Jack said. He followed Daniel to his office. But it wasn’t the same one he had had in his reality. No this one was bigger. He looked around.
“Not the same one you had?” Daniel asked. Jack shook his head.
“No, mine was a floor up.”
“Really. Show me which was yours.” Daniel said as he waited for Jack to walk out. They went a floor up. And they found what was Jack’s office.
“A weapons locker. Nice.” Jack said. Daniel laughed.
“What was that room in your reality?”
“Bathroom.” Jack said. Daniel laughed.
“So, Daniel died on Kelowna?” Sam asked as she and Teal’c, Daniel, Jack, and Pete all ate dinner in Sam’s house.
“Yeah, radiation poisoning. From stopping the bomb.” Jack said as he dipped food out onto his plate.
“Well Kelowna was destroyed here. That bomb destroyed the whole planet.” Daniel said grabbing the bowl of mashed potatoes from the table seconds before Teal’c could get them. Teal’c turned and stared at Daniel hard. “You gotta be fast Teal’c. I would think you’d have learned that.”
“Indeed, one would think.” Teal’c said taking the bowl Daniel was handing him. Jack laughed. Then he took a bite of his food.
“Carter, you can cook!” Jack said looking at Sam. She smiled and laughed.
“Yes, I can. Couldn’t yours?” Sam asked.
“No!” Jack said digging back in. “Burns the mac and cheese when she makes it.”
“Sam, you only know because I taught you.” Daniel said taking to roll Teal’c was reaching for.
“Daniel, it’s not nice to make a Jaffa mad.” Jack said. As Teal’c glared at Daniel again.
“Don’t. They do this all the time. Teal’c will get him back. It’s been like this since the beginning. Daniel will find himself needing a change of clothes tomorrow. It’s usually messy. Last time it was a rigged jello shooter in his desk drawer. Supplied by yours truly.” Sam said whispering in Jack’s ear. Jack started laughing.
“Yes, the pranks these two play on each other are legend in the base.” Pete said.
“Nothing can beat last April Fool’s day.” Daniel said.
“Oh, god! The whole base was scared to make Daniel made for weeks after that. He succeeded in making Teal’c think he was crazy. Moved Teal’c room one floor up. Used some of the Asgard tech to make Teal’c think he was seeing things.” Sam said laughing at the memories.
“It was most confusing.” Teal’c said. Daniel laughed. The rest of the meal was finished while everyone chit chatted. Afterwards they went to the living room to drink coffee.
“Thanks, you guys didn’t have to invite me.” Jack said as he sat down on the couch next to Sam and Pete. Teal’c sat in the large overstuffed chair and Daniel took the place by the fire on the hearth. It was the start of November and Daniel wore heavy sweaters and still froze.
“Hey, your family now.” Pete said. He looked around at everyone. “I mean come on. You have to know more about Sam than I do.”
“Maybe, there seems to be a lot of differences.” Jack said. He looked at Daniel. “Although Daniel here is still cold in anything below eighty degree weather.”
“Yeah, well that happens when you lived in the desert for the first part of your life. Sam, where’s my blanket?” He was looking around. Sam laughed and left the room. She came back in carrying a blanket. She handed it to him. Daniel wrapped it around his shoulders.
“Remember you spilt whiskey on it last time. It’s been in the laundry room ever since.” Sam said as Daniel nodded to say he remembered. Jack found it easy to get into the banter these people shared. He liked these versions of his friends. They are much more open.
“So, Jack, where are you?” Daniel asked as he drained his cup of coffee. He stood making sure the blanket doesn’t go into the fire. He makes his way to the kitchen. He comes back with his cup nice and full.
“With them. We never had this. There was the regs. No one knew about Danny and me. We were going to wit until after we dealt with Anubis. I had to be sure that I didn’t act to friendly around Carter. So that we would get the frat regs thrown in our face. In the three weeks I’ve been here I have laughed more than I had in years there.” Jack said. Sam hugged him. Then he got a surprise when Teal’c hugged him.
“Teal’c, that was strange.” Jack said when Teal’c pulled back. “Teal’c never hugged anyone where I come from.”
“I think that that may be the difference between having you convince him to betray Apophis and me. A bond was formed and since I was slightly more open with feelings I guess it rubbed off on Teal’c. But he only ever hugs the people he calls friends.” Daniel said. Sam looked at the clock. It was near ten.
“Since there wasn’t any alcohol consumed you guys can find your own ways home. I need my sleep.” Sam said standing and leaving. Pete followed her. Jack gave he retreating form a funny look.
“We can leave when we want. Or if we really want crash here. Two guest beds and Teal’s gets the big one. She got and extra long one just for him.” Daniel said. Jack laughed. These guys were truly a family.
Chapter Seven Thanksgiving
Sam entered Daniel’s house using the key she had. It was Thanksgiving morning and it was her turn to cook the meal but considering who was coming it was going to be held at Daniel’s house. She knew that he might not be awake so she didn’t knock. She moved to the kitchen immediately. She did a mental count of who was coming: Herself, Teal’c, Pete, Jack, Daniel, Charlie, Janet, and Aurora. Eight people. Last year it had only been six. Charlie had decided to stay in Chicago and Jack hadn’t been here. She looked at the coffee pot. Empty. So neither man was up. Half an hour later she had the turkey in the oven. The turkey would take six hours to bake and it was now ten in the morning. She made sure that everything was set out and that she had everything she needed.
Once she was sure she went to the living room. Then stopped dead in her tracks. Both Jack and Daniel lay on the couch. Jack on the couch and Daniel on him. Jack had his arms wrapped around Daniel in a possessive manner. She could see that Daniel had been crying at one point. She smiled. She was happy that Daniel finally let Jack in. She removed herself from the living room and made her way to bedroom where she picked up a blanket and returned to the living room. She covered the men up. The blanket settling over them woke up Jack. She shushed him and smiled. He smiled back and went to sleep again. She made a note and hung it up on the door. ‘Don’t Knock!.’ Then she found herself a book and set down in the kitchen to read until she had to start cooking again. Knowing Teal’c he would be here soon. The guys had already planned to play football in the vacant field across from Jack’s house. She heard the door open and shushed Charlie before he screamed for Daniel.
“He’s still asleep.” Sam said motioning for Charlie to follow her. He did and they entered the kitchen.
“Where?” He asked.
“Couch. Both he and Jack are there.” Sam looked at Charlie for a reaction and got none.
“Good. Finally. I’ve had them both call to talk to me about how I would feel if they started something. I gave them both my blessing. He’ll be good for Dad.” Sam laughed.
“Well, I don’t know how far they have gotten but it seems that Daniel was crying and fell asleep on top of Jack. It’s a step in the right direction. That’s why the sign is out there.” Charlie nodded. Then moved to take his suitcase to his room. Twenty minutes later he came back down to find Teal’c and Pete with Sam looking at the two guys, dead to the world, on the couch. Teal’c was smiling. Charlie was laughing and remembering all the times he had woke up when he was younger to this exact same picture. Pete was also smiling.
“Do we look that funny?” Daniel asks as he opens his eyes. Jack laughed as well.
“I think that they would have thought that I would be on top. The one getting consoled. Remember you’re their hard ass CO.” Jack said as he slipped out from under Daniel to stand. He spent a good while stretching, as did Daniel.
“They may be, but not me. This was the way it was when I was growing up. Daniel on top of Jack. See, Jack, Daniel has a slight problem with claustrophobia.” Charlie said.
“Really?” Sam asks.
“Yeah, doesn’t bother me on missions and such. Just having someone on top of me. Kind of freaks me out.” Daniel says. Jack laughs.
“Who brought the football?” Jack asks looking around.
“I did. I thought we could play when Janet gets here. She and Sam can cook and then we can play.”
“Yeah, Aurora Fraiser would be most displeased if we started to play and she wasn’t here.” Teal’c says moving to sit down. Everyone else followed suit.
“Why?” Jack asks.
“Because she likes to see Pete and Teal’c tackle her brother and father. That’s the way we play. And since we have a fifth man this year your on our team. Teal’c counts as two.” Charlie said. He pointed at Teal’c. “And believe me Teal’c can tackle.”
“Really? We never did things like his. Boxing, yes. Football, no.” Jack said.
“Boxing? Daniel taught me that.” Teal’c said.
“Yeah, and I learned it from Jack. Jack, we have someone to see.” Daniel says. Jack nods and they get up. They go to their bedrooms to change.
“Hold on a minute.” Mrs. Brown says. Jack stays hidden where Mrs. Brown can’t see him. Daniel stands in front of her door. A big smile on her face when she sees Daniel.
“Daniel, come in.” She says hugging him.
“First, I have something to tell you.” Mrs. Brown nods and shuts her door so the heat won’t be let out. “Do you remember the mission Jack went on and didn’t come back from?”
“Yes, of course son. Why?”
“One of the raids in Iraq was of a prison where prisoner of war were being held. All of them American Soldiers.”
“Was he?” Mrs. Brown asked. She saw movement and saw Jack walking towards her. She rushed over to hug him. She’s crying and so is Jack. “God, you two. Get your asses in the house. It’s cold out here.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Jack says. Once inside she gets them all some hot chocolate. Then she sits down.
“Ten years in a prison?” She asks.
“No, Ma’am. Five. I was injured in the firefight where they thought I died. I took a bullet to the head. Grazed it. The first few months in a coma, then the rest of the five years regaining my memory. Then I was caught and put in a prison. I’ve been state side for about four months. But they didn’t tell Danny until a month ago. I didn’t want him telling anybody until I got back. I returned this morning. You’re the first to find out except the friends at the house right now.” Jack said while drinking his chocolate.
“Charlie?” Mrs. Brown asked worry in her voice.
“He was told the moment I found out.” Daniel said rubbing his hands to get them warm.
“What about you two?” Mrs. Brown asked, looking worried.
“Well see how it goes. No rush.” Jack said smiling at Daniel.
“Are you going to be living next door?” Mrs. Brown asked.
“Yes, we thought it better. I have nightmares and well waking up and having Danny there is comforting.” Jack said.
“I’m so happy to see you back, Jack. But my family will be arriving soon. We can catch up later. Oh!” Mrs. Brown stood and hugged them both again. Even kissing Jack on the cheek. Then she ushered them out with promises of later.
“How’d it go with Mrs. Brown?” Janet asked as they all sat around the dinner table.
“I think we gave her a heart attack.” Daniel said.
“I think she cracked a few of my ribs. Stronger for her age.” Jack said. He had just finished putting everything on his plate and took his first bite. “Sam, Janet, you two are going to be the death of me. This is so good.”
“Once again. Daniel.” Sam said.
“You taught them both to cook?”
“I learned it over seas on a dig.” Daniel said smiling.
“Yeah, you got to love him. I’m told Sam’s cooking prior or meeting him could kill a goat. And they can’t eat anything.” Pete said. Getting himself a jab in the rib from Sam.
“Where’s Cassie?” Jack asked.
“She wanted to stay in Chicago. She’s at the med school there. Dominic also goes to school there. But I have my eyes right here. Cassie and Charlie share an apartment.” Janet said.
“So you two. Tell.” Sam said pointing her fork at Daniel and Jack.
“We talked and came to the assessment that since our lives were so different that it would be alright to try it.” Daniel said. Jack nodded.
“Ok, so what was with the tears.” Pete asked.
“That would be him telling me the last words Jack said to him on Argos. And they are private and I’m not telling.” Jack said sticking his tongue out at Sam.
“Yeah, he’s definitely my father. Childish.” Charlie said. Jack looked at him. That was the first time that Charlie had called him dad. Daniel reached over and squeezed his thigh. Jack smiled.