Title: Lovers, Friends, and Other Strangers
Year: Future Time
Category: Drama, Established Relationship, Hurt/Comfort,
Spoilers: Hints at current info released about 10.1 Flesh and Blood
Summary: Jack comes to right a few wrongs only to find out that he is too late.
Warnings: Talk of torture
“812 Sycamore Ave,” Jack said looking up at the house in front of him. It was a beautiful home. Teal’c had told him a year ago that Daniel had moved. He hadn’t expected Daniel to be living in a house. No, that was for people that had normal lives. Teal’c had also told him that Vala had moved in with Daniel. He had been surprised but after thinking about it, he knew he shouldn’t be. Daniel was the only one who could handle the woman.
A dog started barking and ran into the front yard had him jumping. Jack recognized the woman from the pictures that had come across his desk. This was Vala. She seemed occupied with the dog and didn’t notice Jack for a few minutes. Not until the dog ran to him. Jack bent down to pet the dog.
“May I help you?” Vala asked Jack as she eyed him wearily. Jack was shocked. Did she not recognize him? What did that mean? He knew he was older but he didn’t think that he had changed that much.
“I was looking for Daniel,” Jack said. Vala seemed shocked for a second then she schooled her features.
“Who are you?” Vala asked. This time she was suspicious.
“An old friend,” Jack said. He really didn’t want to tell this woman anything at all. No, he was better talking to Daniel. He had much to make up for.
“How did you get this address?” Vala asked. Jack stared at her. She wasn’t as anyone had described her. He half expected by now that she would have him half-naked. Maybe she had mellowed out a little with time.
“The SGC,” Jack said. Vala’s eyes light up in recognition. Then they hardened. Jack had seen that look on Teal’c face before. When Jack had said things to Daniel that Teal’c didn’t like. Calling Daniel a fag and a cocksucker had been a few of them.
“Ah yes. Now I know who you are. Major General Jackass. I think that is what My Daniel and Sam call you. Teal’c doesn’t refer to you as anything but ‘O’Neill’ but I am sure he calls you many things in his mind,” Vala said. She whistled and the dog ran back to her. She said something to the dog in a language Jack didn’t know and the dog ran back into the backyard. “Daniel is at Teal’c’s house right now. I’m sure he’ll be home in a few hours. Leave a number and I’ll have him contact you.”
“I’d rather wait. I have nothing better to do,” Jack said. Vala gave him a stern look.
“I’d rather you didn’t. I don’t know you well enough to let you in my house,” Vala said.
“It’s Daniel’s house. And he knows me,” Jack said.
“No, its Daniel’s and mine. We both bought this house and I have the right to refuse you entry into it,” Vala said. She turned and moved back to the backyard. Jack was tempted to follow until he saw the cameras on the side of the house. Security cameras, military issue. They weren’t there to make sure someone stayed in. They were there to keep people out. The feed probably went straight to the SGC. Jack got back into his car and drove back to the hotel room he was using until he found a house to move into, hopefully soon. He dialed the number he had for Teal’c and got a switchboard operator at the SGC.
“How may I direct your call?”
“This is Major General O’Neill. Security code 5672842. I would like to be directed to Teal’c’s room please,” Jack said. The operator transferred him to Walter.
“I’m sorry, General. Teal’c moved out three months ago. Doctor Jackson fought for him. He is a full American citizen. I thought he would have told you,” Walter said. Jack sighed. It seemed that Teal’c was keeping many things from him. “I’m sorry, Sir, but he has asked that no one be given his address and phone number.”
“Its fine, Walter,” Jack said. He hung up. Jack sat back on his bed and thought about it. Teal’c hadn’t been as open as he had in the past over these past few years. He’d made a few mistakes on how he handled going to Washington. His cell phone rang interrupting his thoughts. He grabbed it. “O’Neill.”
“General, how are you?” Landry asked.
“Just fine, Hank,” Jack said.
“Listen, Jack, I heard you were in town. Finding a place to live. You know that Carolyn just moved out of her house. She hasn’t put it on the market yet and offered to let you stay there if you want. If you like it she would sell it to you,” Landry said.
“Who told you?”
“Colonel Davis. He’s the one who delivered to us the news of your retirement,” Landry said.
“Us?” Jack asked.
“SG-1 and I,” Landry said.
“Doctor Jackson, Colonel Carter, Teal’c, and Vala,” Landry said.
“Vala?” Jack asked.
“Listen I’ll stop by the base later to get the key. Tell Car thanks for me. Right now, I don’t even know if I want to live here. I may just go back to my cabin and live,” Jack said.
“Give them time, Jack. Colonel Carter had talked about missing you,” Landry said.
“I just had Vala call me ‘Major General Jackass’ to my face, Hank. I don’t think that Daniel misses me all that much. Hell, Vala didn’t even recognize me. That tells me that there are no pictures of me in his house,” Jack said. Like there used to be. Team pictures on Daniel’s mantle or his desk. Showing off his family and friends.
“Time, Jack. I’ll be leaving at seven. I’ll meet you at the entrance,” Landry said before hanging up. Jack shut the phone and threw it on the bed. He decided that he would go in a little bit early and see Sam. Maybe talking to her would help him understand the situation.
“Sir, what are you doing here?” Sam asked as she stood up from her desk in her lab.
“I’m house hunting. Thinking of moving back here,” Jack said.
“I thought that you would move to the cabin?” Sam asked.
“No, I would rather live here. My friends are here,” Jack said. Sam looked at him.
“You have to take that up with Daniel, Sir,” Sam said.
“I know that I have to mend a few fences there,” Jack said.
“You have two people to get through. Teal’c and Vala. She is very protective of who she calls ‘My Daniel’ and will do anything for him. Especially after Teal’c told her what you called Daniel, Sir,” Sam said. Jack frowned. He wondered why Vala hadn’t hit him. He’d handled that the wrong way.
“I thought that Daniel hated her?” Jack asked. Sam pointed at a chair and Jack sat down.
“After the Ori Fleet destroyed ours, Daniel was taken to the lead ship. Where, Tomin, Vala’s husband was leading the fight. After the child was born and started leading the followers, Daniel was to be executed,” Sam said.
“I read the file, Carter,” Jack said.
“I never did find out fully what happened, only what’s in the report. All I know is that when they came back to Earth, Vala and Daniel were close. Friends. She stopped with jokes and the advances. She became a very productive member of the SGC, of SG-1. She’s knows Ancient as well as Daniel does and of course Goa’uld. Her contacts have helped us find out information. Officially, she is a member of the Archeo/Ling department,” Sam said. Jack nodded.
“And why does she live with Daniel?” Jack asked.
“Because he was the only one who could control her,” Sam said. Jack nodded. He really needed to talk to Daniel. But alone. Without Vala. “Sir, he should be home right now. He’s home every night for supper. Sir, what did you say to him?”
“He told me that he was bi. I took that to mean he wanted sex with me. Memories came to the surface and I just blew up. Trying to get rid of him. I tried to apologize but he wouldn’t talk to me,” Jack said. Sam nodded.
“Well he’s home now,” Sam said before turning back to her project. Jack nodded. “Beware Vala. She’s a scrappy fighter. Tricky and underhanded.”
“Thanks,” Jack said before he left.
“Daniel, you had a visitor today,” Vala said as Daniel started cleaning up after their dinner. Daniel turned around to look at her. His eyebrow raised in question. “General O’Neill.”
“What did he want?” Daniel asked.
“I don’t know. He wanted to wait on you to come home but I wouldn’t let him. I didn’t want him hanging around. He looked sad,” Vala said as she started putting away the dry dishes. Daniel didn’t answer her he just finished the dishes. Vala was standing at the back deck door when Daniel came up behind her. He handed her a glass of wine and opened the door. He sat down on the deck lounger and pulled her onto his lap. Vala giggled and kissed him. She had been too upset about Jack coming over that she hadn’t kissed him when he came home an hour prior.
Vala grabbed both of their wine glasses and set them aside so that they wouldn’t fall. Daniel gripped her hips and helped her turn over so that she was facing him with her legs straddling his. Daniel’s hands slid under her shirt and caressed her stomach. Vala sighed and deepened the kiss. Her tongue found entrance into Daniel’s mouth and he gladly let her do what she wanted. But after only a few minutes, she pulled back.
“Did you love him?” Vala asked. Daniel looked at her for a few seconds before he understood what she meant.
“No. I didn’t. I didn’t even want him. I just hated lying to him. He was a close friend. I wanted him to like me for who I was. Not whom he thought I was. I wouldn’t have done it any different,” Daniel said. Vala smiled at him. She leaned forward again.
Jack went around to the back of the house. He heard voices and thought that maybe he could convince Daniel to talk to him.
“…. I just hated lying to him. He was a close friend. I wanted him to like me for who I was. Not whom he thought I was. I wouldn’t have done it any different.” Jack heard Daniel say. Jack shook his head and waited for one of them to say something. For a long while neither did. So Jack went around the last corner of the house. He froze at the sight that greeted him.
Vala was sitting in Daniel’s lap on a lounger chair. Her shirt was open and Daniel looked like he was sucking on one of her nipples. Daniel and Vala’s pants were on the ground beside them and Daniel’s over shirt was with them. His undershirt was still on him. They looked like they had been in a rush to get to the good part.
Vala was panting and moving slightly up and down. Jack knew that movement. They were having sex in Daniel’s open back yard. Jack looked around for the cameras trying not to focus on the two on the deck.
Vala’s gasps of pleasure brought Jack’s gaze back to the couple. Daniel had moved up to her neck and then again up to kiss her on the mouth. Vala stared moving faster in his lap as she started ripping Daniel’s t-shirt off him. Daniel let out a low growl before he sat up fully in the chair. He continued moving until Vala was under him and he was thrusting at the same slow pace Vala had been doing when Jack had first saw them.
“Slow,” Daniel said into her ear before he claimed her mouth again. Vala’s hands couldn’t stop moving. One was tangled in Daniel’s hair and the other was moving up and down his back. Sometimes scratching, making Daniel arch his back.
“Daniel, Daniel, My Daniel.” Vala kept on saying over and over again. Finally, Daniel started moving faster. Vala’s legs wrapped around Daniel’s back and anchored her to him.
Jack knew the instant that Daniel came. He slumped forward and his breathing hitched. Vala moaned long and loudly when she orgasmed. Jack heard the sobs before Vala did. He wanted to rush over but stopped himself. It wasn’t his job anymore.
Vala rolled them both over in the chair and kissed away the tears. After a few minutes, Daniel settled. His breathing evened out and he was asleep.
“My husband, I always thought that because of being a host that none could hurt as much as me,” Vala said as she brushed the hair from his forehead. “My heart breaks every time I hear of another hurt from your past. But you are strong. Stronger than I and stronger than most. I meant it the day I took you as my husband. I’ll stand beside you forever. Protecting you, because you need it.”
Jack swallowed the lump in his throat and left Daniel’s house. When he got back to the hotel, he packed up his suitcase. His team didn’t need him anymore. They hadn’t since Mitchell had taken over. And when Mitchell died in the fight against the Ori, Vala had taken over. SG-1 didn’t have a leader. It had four of them.
Jack wrote a letter to Daniel and dropped it off at the mountain before he left the next morning. He told Hank that he was going to be at the cabin for the foreseeable future. Hank had nodded and let him go. But Jack had one question to ask him.
“Vala and Daniel, why is she living with him?” Jack had asked.
“They got married six months ago,” Hank had said.
Daniel didn’t need him anymore. Jack hadn’t been the rock in his life since he had come back years ago.
Jack parked his truck at the end of his driveway because he would be doing some work on the cabin and needed the space. He wasn’t really expecting any company and was surprised when he saw a car sitting in front of his cabin. The plates told him it was a rental. He wondered whom it was until her heard a squeal and a splash followed by “Vala!”
He knew Daniel’s voice even if he hadn’t really heard it for a few years. Of course he had heard it a few weeks ago, Daniel had been talking low and his voice full of emotion. Jack rounded to the back of his cabin to find Daniel standing on the dock and Vala swimming in the small lake that was part of his property. Jack saw the clothes sitting at Daniel’s feet and thought that she must be naked.
“Don’t worry about me, Daniel. The Jackass is once again watching us. I’m in a swimsuit and will keep myself occupied with play. You said you wanted privacy, I’m giving it to you,” Vala said. Daniel turned around to look at Jack. He smiled and waved at Jack. Jack forced a smile and waved back. Daniel turned back to Vala and stared at her for a few seconds before he started walking towards Jack.
“Jack,” Daniel said. He held out a hand for Jack to shake. Jack shook it and waited a few seconds to see if Daniel was going to do anything. He didn’t. “Maybe we should go inside. We have a few things to talk about, if you want to patch this up.”
“I do,” Jack said. He motioned for Daniel to go in front of him into the cabin. He sidetracked into the bathroom and grabbed a towel. He held it up and when Daniel nodded, he went outside to set it on the dock. Vala was too busy swimming to notice and he just went back inside. He saw the letter on the coffee table and Daniel was looking at the pictures on the mantel. Jack remembered what he said in the letter.
I know this comes too long after our fight but I’m sorry. I let my past get in the way of our past. I want to patch this up. But you have to be willing.
Jack remembered what Vala had said outside, once again watching us. That meant that he had been caught.
“Security was reviewing the tapes for that week and they caught you standing there. Only Vala and I knew what you had been watching. The cameras don’t catch anything that happens on the porch and none get sounds.”
“Why were they set up?”
“To protect us, there are those that would love to get a hold of me because I was ascended and Vala because she used to have a Goa’uld in her. Now I am not going to call you a pervert or a voyeur. I know that you didn’t actually watch the sex as much as our faces. Now, you left before we could talk this out. Why?”
“I knew that it wasn’t my place anymore. Teal’c and Vala have your back.”
“Teal’c took over as a great friend and Vala is my wife. But I’ve missed you, Jack.” Jack looked up at Daniel for the first time since he had come back inside. Daniel’s eyes were sincere and Jack ducked his head again. He had hurt Daniel so many times over the years; he’d shoved Daniel aside only to go back when he needed the younger man.
“I want to patch things up. I just hope that I can be a better friend this time around.”
“I know you can do it. If nothing outside affects you,” Daniel said. Jack looked up to see the look in Daniel’s eyes. Daniel wouldn’t take what Jack had done in the past.
“I think that Vala has rubbed off on you a bit. You are a lot stronger than you used to be.”
“Her and Teal’c. Sam and I aren’t getting along right now. Not after you came around and left just after.”
“Why, that was the only way I was moving back, was if I patched things up with you,”
“She’s had romantic notions on you for years, Jack.”
“What? No, I never…really?” Jack asked looking shocked. Daniel laughed a true laugh. Something Jack hadn’t heard for a while. Jack heard barking outside the cabin followed by a splash.
“Great, wet dog,” Daniel said.
“You brought your dog?” Jack asked.
“The whole family, as Vala puts it. I think we have the first dog that understands Goa’uld better than English,” Daniel said.
“So that was the language that Vala was speaking to it.”
“So what is his, her name?”
“Her name is Libby,” Daniel said as he moved to a window to look out. He saw Vala and Libby playing in the lake.
“You really love her?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I’m glad, Danny. I really am. That you are happy and that you’ve found someone,” Jack said. He moved to hug Daniel. Letting the touch ground him. Letting it remind him of how stupid he had been.
“What about you?” Daniel asked as he pulled back from Jack. Jack shrugged.
“I kinda like where I am,” Jack said with a smile. Daniel stared at him for a while before he nodded and smiled at well. A knock came at the cabin door.
“Our flight leaves soon,” Vala said then Jack heard her walk away.
“You weren’t here when we thought you would be. I guess this will have to be done over the phone,” Daniel said.
“How long have you been here?” Jack asked. Daniel looked at his watch.
“Three hours. We walked around the property for a while.” Daniel blushed and ducked his head. Jack laughed.
“Found that little hill that over looks the other lake didn’t you?” Jack asked. Daniel nodded.
“If you find a pair of boxers, their mine, Vala threw them and we have no clue where they ended up.”
“Sure, I’ll mail them.” Daniel laughed and hugged Jack.
“O’Neill,” Jack said as he answered his cell phone.
“Jack?” The voice on the other end asked. Jack nearly dropped the phone. It was Vala Mal Doran. She didn’t sound too good.
“Vala, what’s up?” Jack asked.
“We need a place to stay for a few weeks. Can we come and stay with you?” Vala asked.
“What’s wrong?” Jack asked putting off the answer until he knew why.
“Daniel was captured by a Goa’uld and tortured. The SGC won’t let us stay anywhere there isn’t a SGC member. Daniel’s not doing too well physically. He needs help with almost everything and they don’t trust that I won’t run off and leave him just to look around,” Vala said. Jack’s heart leapt to his throat.
“Yeah, you guys can come here. I have room. When will you get here?” Jack asked wondering how long he had to get the place ready.
“Our driver is pulling into your driveway now,” Vala said. Jack hung up the phone and moved to his front door. He saw a black sedan coming down the road towards him. After parking the car, the driver moved to one of the back seat doors and opened it. A minute later, Daniel was leaning against the car while the airman pulled a wheelchair out of the trunk.
The sound of another door shifted Jack’s attention to the other side of the car. Vala got out of the car, and Jack’s first thought was that she was looking a little chubby. It wasn’t until she came to Daniel’s side of the car that he noticed she was very pregnant. Vala moved and grabbed the handles of the wheelchair away from the airman and growled at him. The airman backed off and grabbed the luggage from the trunk.
Jack laughed until he really got a good look at Daniel. One leg was in a cast from his knee to his toes. The opposite arm was in a cast from mid lower arm to the tips of his fingers. His other hand was swollen and red with an ace bandage around the wrist. It looked like he had strapping on his ribs. His face was black and blue.
Jack moved forward to grab the bags from the airman. The man seemed happy to be rid of them and quickly got back into the car and left. Jack looked back at the couple and saw Daniel silently laughing. Vala glared at the car as it left.
“Daniel, I swear, as the years pass, the men stationed at the base are getting dumber and dumber. Does he not understand that a man in your condition would not be safe on a trip in a plane? And that he can’t take hair pin turns on the way here?” Vala asked.
“You scared him when you screamed after he took that first one. It’s a wonder that he didn’t spin the tires getting out of here,” Daniel said.
“He should have known better. You don’t move fast enough to catch yourself. You hit your head.”
“Guys, can we go inside? I think that Daniel could do with lying down for a while,” Jack said. He started for the cabin when Daniel started coughing.
“Jack!” Vala screamed. Jack dropped the luggage and rushed back. Jack grabbed Daniel and held him while he coughed. Daniel spit a glob of phlegm onto the ground. “I can’t hold him. He jerks so much we are afraid he will hit my stomach and hurt the baby.”
“Hey, it’s fine. I’m here to help,” Jack said as he grabbed the luggage again.
“With the cracked ribs, I got a chest infection,” Daniel said as he pulled out a bandana and used it to wipe his mouth.
“Vala, you look tired. Why don’t you go inside? I’ll take care of Daniel. You need rest too,” Jack said. Vala leaned over, kissed Daniel on the side of the cheek and then went into the cabin. “My room. It has the best bed. I’ll sleep in the guest room.”
“Jack, I don’t…”
“No, from now on you both are under my care. I am the master here. You do as I say,” Jack said. Vala nodded and went into the house. She grabbed a small bag before heading in. “So how far along is she?”
“Eight months. Carolyn says that the boy is big enough to go at any point.”
“You guys have a name?” Jack asked as he started to wheel Daniel into the cabin.
“Vala has a name that she loves. I’m not too sure about it,” Daniel said.
“Charlie. She read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and fell in love with the name.”
“Why aren’t you too sure about it?” Jack asked as he situated Daniel in the living room. The luggage could wait. Daniel ducked his head and sighed. “If it’s the name she wants she should have it. I won’t mind.”
“Yeah?” Daniel asked looking up. Jack moved to crouch in front of Daniel.
“I got over Charlie a long time ago.”
“Can you take me to bed, Jack? I’m really tired,” Daniel asked Jack. Jack nodded and looked at the steps leading up to the bedroom. Daniel looked where Jack was looking and laughed.
“Looks like I’m carrying you,” Jack said as he put the brakes on the wheelchair so it wouldn’t move. Jack carefully slid one of his arms under Daniel’s legs and wound the other around Daniel’s shoulders. He lifted Daniel up slowly and gently and carried him up the steps. He laid Daniel down in the bed beside his wife and covered him up. In seconds, Daniel was asleep. Vala turned over and snuggled into Daniel’s side, smiling as she did.
Jack had rarely seen this side of Daniel. Sha’re’s kiss in the Abydos Gateroom had been the only piece of normality he had ever seen between Daniel and his significant others. He watched them for a few minutes before he left the room. They would both be hungry when they woke up. Jack decided that his mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup would do good for them all.
Vala was still asleep, but Daniel had wanted to wash off a bit so Jack had helped him into the bathroom and was helping him clean up.
“Daniel?” Jack asked as he helped Daniel take his shirt off so he could wash him off with a rag.
“Vala talked me into it. She loves it on me. I said ‘no’ to the tattoo so this was the next best thing,” Daniel said as he flicked at his nipple ring. Jack laughed.
“You have changed a lot since the guy who tripped over his own feet on Abydos,” Jack said. He took the rag out of the sink and started to wash Daniel. Daniel tried to grab the rag but Jack held it out from him. “We don’t need your casts getting wet.”
“I’m a grown man.”
“Are you sure? That pout makes you look twelve.” Daniel huffed and crossed his arms as best he could. “So you got her pregnant not long after you left the cabin.”
“No, we had a mission the days prior and for a week after. She got pregnant at the cabin,” Daniel said with a smile. Jack laughed. “You ever find the boxers?”
“Yes, I found them in a nest for a bunny. I didn’t think you would want them back.”
“Ah, no.” Jack continued to clean Daniel up as best he could and then helped him dress again. By the time they were done they found Vala sitting up on the bed. Her eyes were wide.
“Val?” Daniel asked.
“I think that my water just broke,” Vala said.
“Okay. Good. Uh, it will be easier for me to drive you guys. An ambulance would take too long. Vala I’ll get Daniel in the truck and you can go after.”
Several hours later, Daniel came out of the delivery room with a small bundle in his arms. Jack stood up to take the wheel chair from the nurse. “Jack, want to meet him?” Daniel asked as he held his son in his arms.
“Yeah,” Jack said. He leaned over Daniel’s shoulder to get a good look at the baby. “Hi, Charlie. Oh yeah! He’s going to be like his Daddy. Got that chin.”
“Did you call them?” Daniel asked. Jack nodded.
“Carter and Teal’c are on their way along with Carolyn. Seems that Landry wants her to check on you both and the little guy.”
“Thanks, Jack. Would you mind if we still stayed with you?” Daniel asked.
“Sure, I have Charlie’s crib in the shed out back and we’ll get what you need from the store. Vala’s going to be tired for a few days, and you’ll need me.”
“Charlie always needs his uncle,” Daniel said. Jack smiled at Daniel and kissed Charlie’s forehead then wheeled Daniel back into Vala’s room so that the two could fuss over the baby.
“Stay, Jack,” Vala said. Jack nodded and sat at the end of the bed.
“Are you sure that Charlie’s a good name?” Vala asked.
“The best name,” Jack and Daniel said at the same time.