All that Matters by devra

Jack entered Daniel's darkened apartment, pausing a moment to lean against the closed door to toe off his shoes, leaving them on the mat. Except for the gurgling of the fish tank and the ever present, exceedingly annoying drip of the kitchen faucet, the apartment was silent. By rote, the Colonel avoided the squeaky wooden floorboards, the antiques and piles of books barring his way to the bedroom. Mission accomplished, every obstacle bypassed, Jack stood in the doorway. Daniel's bedroom. Their bedroom. Their bed. The one where his Daniel now slept.

"Oh, Daniel," the whisper of his lover's name was more of an exhalation of breath, than an actual sigh.

Daniel moved nary an inch, his breathing deep and measured, relaxed and drugged.

"Thank you," Jack offered to the god that protects wayward archaeologists. Guardian angels that offer assistance when Colonels cannot.

Jack squatted by the bed, ignoring the hints of approaching old age his knees were throwing his way. He took solace in the steady rise and fall of Daniel's chest and was secretly overjoyed that the blanket of darkness covered the bruises on his lover's body. Jack hung his head in shame. "Forgive me," he begged Daniel's sleeping form.

"For what?" Daniel murmured, his eyes still shut.


Slivers of glassy blue orbs appeared, and Daniel reached out an uncoordinated hand. Jack captured the hand and his ghost of a kiss to the outstretched palm brought a sweet, lazy smile to Daniel's face.

"You wanted me to forgive you? Why?" Daniel asked. Measured words, spoken slowly with a slight slur.

Jack hung his head, ashamed. "Because... "

Daniel sighed and spoke to Jack like one would an errant child who didn't understand the dangerous concepts of strangers. "There's no because, Jack. We're home. All of us. SG1. Alive." Jack watched his lover struggle to maintain his tenuous hold on the world of consciousness. "You're here in my bedroom. In the dark. With me. All that matters. No forgiving necessary."

Jack smiled at Daniel's last statement. "I love you."

"And I love you." Daniel slithered his hand from Jack's grasp and brought it up to caress Jack's face. "Those are the only words we need to say. The only words that matter."

The End!

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