Title: Daniel’s First Christmas
Category: Romance, First Time,
Summary: Jack gives Daniel his first true Christmas of his life.
By now I thought that I had been told or found out everything about Danny’s life. But I guess I hadn’t. Carter and I were sitting in her lab talking about the upcoming holiday.
“So, you still going to my party tomorrow? You and Janet?” I asked. She and Janet had been together for about three months now. Ever since the Zanax things. Or Zatac…Zatarc. Yeah that’s it. Zatarc.
“Yeah, we are. Then we are going home. Cassie is staying with some friends.” Carter said. I could see the smile on her face. Of SG-1 she’ll be the only one getting any. No wait. Teal’c will. He’s going to his family. He’ll be getting some from his wife. After my party. He said he wouldn’t miss it.
“Good. So who’d you get in the gift swap?” I asked. I got Danny. I was happy about this. Even if I can’t tell him that I love him maybe I can discretely tell him with gifts. Though he’ll never get it.
“Teal’c. I found this place that sells hats. I got him a few I really think he’d love. And boxers. I had Daniel help me with those. Of all the things Teal’c fell in love with, it was boxers.” Carter said. I laughed. I remember Danny and me showing Teal’c those in Wal-Mart shortly after we saved Earth from Apophis and Skaara. I think we bought seven pair. Man, he loves boxers.
“So you and Janet, Teal’c leaving. And Daniel’s…what does Daniel do after he leaves? He never stays. He always leaves when you do.” I ask noticing for the first time Daniel never talks about doing anything.
“Mostly he takes work home.” Carter says. I nearly drop the cup of coffee I’m holding.
“What?” I say. That cant be right. Doing work on Christmas. Being alone. I always thought he at least had friends come over. Or he went places.
“Yeah. He told me once. He’s never really celebrated Christmas. His parents didn’t celebrate it too much. During the years after their death he was bouncing from home to home. Then in College it was used to work and not have 200 people screaming. Then after that he worked. The first time he ever really bought a Christmas present for anyone was that year he came back from Abydos.” Carter says. I look at her. He’s never celebrated Christmas. That’s just wrong.
“So he leaves my place and goes home and works?” I ask. Sam nods. I say I have things to do and I leave. Sam’s happy because that means she can go back to work. I make my way to my office. I won’t stand for this. Daniel is going to celebrate Christmas this year if it’s the last thing I do. But how can I do it so that it’s a surprise. I know. I’ll just show up at his place a few hours after he leaves mine.
I went to his office to talk to him and found him getting stuff ready to take home. I look at my watch. It’s seven. He shouldn’t be leaving, not yet. He should be here till midnight. Oh, well. I guess I should be happy. Hammond gave us till the second off. The 24th through the second. Since SG-1’s been going none stop for a while. Hammond’s a good man.
“Hey, Daniel.” I say. I surprise him and he drops a book on my foot. OWW. Did I say book. I meant brick.
“Sorry, you kinda scared me.” Daniel says. He looks apologetic. He looks cute when he’s like that. And when he pushes his glasses back up like he just did.
“It’s alright. It’s what I get for sneaking up on a linguist.” I say. I pick up the book for him. I look at the spine. It looks like it’s in Russian. “It that Russian?”
“Yeah. It was sent to me by Dr. Svetlana Markov. A Christmas present. She thought I would enjoy it. I think it’s a complete collection of Charles Dickens’s in Russian. We talked about me loving Dickens.” Daniel says. I know this. I have known this for years. Every year for Christmas I get his a different version of “A Christmas Carol” on DVD. This year. It’s the Disney version. Along with a few other things.
“I just stopped by to see if you were still coming to my party?” I ask. Hoping he says yes.
“Yeah. Of course. I’ll see you at six so I can help.” He says. After that first year I stopped trying to say he didn’t have to. I had a very pissy Danny and I didn’t like. Still don’t like. Hated having to spend twenty minutes looking words up to see how bad he insulted me.
“Good. Get some sleep tonight.” I say before leaving. I see an Airman making his way to me.
“Sir, Dr. Fraiser wants to see you. She said it’s important.” The Airman says. I nod.
“Thanks, Airman.” I say as I make my way to Janet’s office. Janet’s looks up at knock.
“Enter, Colonel. Please shut the door.” Janet says. Okay this is serious. She never likes people to shut the door. I sit down. She gets up from behind her desk and sits beside me. “Sir, I’m worried about Daniel.”
“Worried? Why?” I ask. He looked fine. No bags for once.
“His weight. SG-1 hasn’t been off-world since the Russian mission. In case the water affected all of you. So he hasn’t had the check-ups like he did before. But Hammond wanted everyone to have one before they left for the holidays.”
“Yeah, you did SG-1 a few hours ago.” I say. So she found something wrong with his physical. Why was she telling me?
“He’s lost about ten pounds between then and now. I wouldn’t normally say that was bad. But there was also a steady drop before that. He said he was eating healthier…”
“He eats healthy all the time.” I say. Janet nods. I see where she’s going.
“He’s not anemic. He must be taking a lot of vitamins. Sir, I think it’s psychological. I don’t want to have to recommend him for a visit with Mackenzie. But if his keeps up I will. I want to see him with more weight to him when he gets back from his vacation.” Janet says.
“It can start tomorrow. I’ll forgo the normal veggie trays. Then I’ll try and see what’s wrong over the vacation.”
“Thank you, Jack.” Janet says. I know she’s worried. Hell, I’m worried now.
He shows up right on time. Bottle of good wine in hand. Says I wouldn’t know good wine if it bit me in the ass. I smiled and nodded. I know he’s right. I just won’t cop to it. The party was wonderful. And as always he leaves right after Carter does. Teal’c drove himself today. The Air Force let him borrow a car. I wait a few hours. I make sure that he is nice and asleep before I head over. It’s near four in the morning. I know he will sleep until about noon, unless otherwise provoked. But what I don’t expect is to walk into his apartment and find him asleep on the couch. He’s still dressed and he looks like he had been crying. He’s shivering a little and I cover him up. And remove his glasses.
I see his tree. Not really decorated all that much. But I am going to change that. When he wakes up his house is going to look very festive. I see his journal on the coffee table. It’s not like the ones he takes off world. These are wrote in English. I set it aside and promise myself I’ll look at it when I’m done.
By six that morning his apartment looks wonderful. I even put lights on the balcony banister. I move to the kitchen to make sure he has breakfast food. Eggs, bacon, ham, potatoes. Even orange juice. Good. I won’t have to make a run to my house for food.
I pick up the journal again. I watch Daniel for a few minutes. He’s sleeping peacefully. I sit down in a chair facing the couch and start to read.
“I had fun at the party. But I couldn’t stay. I make myself promise myself that I will stay longer every year. But I can’t. I love everyone. But I have no one. I don’t have a reason to wake up on Christmas morning and feel happy. I wish I did. But no. Of course I have wants. I love someone. But they don’t love me back. I know they don’t. They can’t.” I set the book in my lap holding my place. I look at him. I never noticed that he was in love. Maybe Teal’c did. But I didn’t. Now I’m having second thoughts about this. I was going to tell him how I felt. And hoped he felt the same. But no. If he doesn’t. He loves another. I go back to reading. “At least everyone knows I’m bi. Even Jack. Jack took it good. He was a little mad I hadn’t told him before. But I told him that since he was military. He understood. Wonder what he’d think…stopping that right now. I have a problem of dying. No one needs to know that fact. Not even Teal’c knows. I pride myself on that. I think I’m going to put this away in case I get to maudlin.” I set the journal back where Daniel put it. I start to cook. I decide that I won’t tell him. I’ll just give him some company. Hopefully it will make him feel better.
I’m done cooking by the time he wanders into the kitchen. He looks funny. His hair is badly messed up and his clothes are rumpled.
“Morning.” I say. He squints at me. Then his eyes widen in shock.
“What are you doing here?” He asks. I smile.
“Carter told me what you normally do. I just couldn’t have that. So now, go get dressed. And take a look around the place.” I know my words will goad him into action. Just the thought that I harmed any artifacts. I hear him take a quick shower and get dressed. I have the food dished out and waiting by the time he’s done. Along with coffee. Which I take out to him in the living room.
“It looks nice, Jack. Thanks.” He says. I notice the journal is gone. He must have put it up.
“Now come and eat.” I say. He follows me to the kitchen. Through breakfast we talk about his holidays in the past. I have to say they weren’t fun. “Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“Me complain when you had lost your son…” He says. I guess I can understand it. That would seem callous of him. But I understand.
“Yeah. Still you should have. Now let’s clean up the plates and open presents.” I say. He smiles. We always exchange true gifts in the evening. He comes over to my place. As we are washing the dishes I run into him. I notice his face is flush. Then that line from the journal hit’s me. ‘Wonder what he’d think…’ I lean forward and kiss him lightly on the lips. He jumps backwards. I see anger. Damn maybe I’ve read this wrong. A thousand maybes run through my mind.
“That’s all this has been. A joke. So you did read my journal. Decided to play a joke on my behalf. Well fuck you, Jack O’Neill.” He says before he storms into his room. Maybe I did read it right. But he thinks I’m joking with him. I dry my hands and knock on his door. “Fuck off.”
“No, Danny. We need to talk.” I say. I don’t hear any movement. I try the door. It’s locked.
“I said ‘fuck you’ and ‘fuck off’ Do I need to come out there and show you what I mean.” I hear him say. He’s close to the door. I know he is. His voice is too loud.
“I’d rather do this face to face. But if I have to do it with a door between us. Danny, it wasn’t a joke. I’ve liked you for a long time. Yes, I did read it. I wanted to know why you spend Christmas alone. God, I didn’t even think it was me that you liked until I bumped into you in the kitchen and saw your flushed face. I’d never hurt you like that. Ever,” I say. I hear movement. I hear the door unlock. I take that as a sign I can come in. He’s sitting on his bed. I notice that he had been crying. I sit down beside him and hug him. He accepts it.
I think this may be the first of many really good Christmas’s for Danny.