Coming Home by JoaG

"Thanks, Jim."

Daniel regretted the words the instant he said them when he saw the look of pain they caused the older man. His brown eyes just seemed to… dim… and the gentle smile on his face disappeared.

"I'm sorry," Daniel said quickly, grabbing the bottle of beer Jack had been offering him when he had stupidly opened his mouth. He hadn't realized purposely calling him 'Jim' would have wounded this man who had not only told him they were good friends, but Daniel's slowly returning memory had confirmed it. It was just the teasing had felt 'right', but he'd spoken too quickly and now rued his decision to go along with his gut feeling.

"It's okay, Daniel," Jack said as he returned to his seat, taking a swallow of beer before picking up his half-eaten supper.

After putting the bottle on the wooden deck beside him, Daniel wiped the condensation from his hand on his pant legs. "No Jack, really. I just was trying to make a joke; I guess not a really good one at that, huh?"

He was aware of the looks of sympathy from his other two team mates, but he couldn't meet their eyes and quickly looked down at his hands, picking at the start of a hangnail. He'd lost his appetite now, and wasn't quite sure what to do. The uncomfortable feeling he'd had around them at first had come back full force.

Throughout the past two days, his life had been turned upside down. The harrowing mission he'd just gone through, his recovering memories and new found 'old' friends kept him on an emotional rollercoaster. He realized he had enjoyed the danger and excitement of fighting these Goa'uld, and had also enjoyed the camaraderie of his team mates. But at the same time, moments like just now when he seemed to 'open mouth, insert foot', would quickly wipe away the joy he thought he was finding here in this strange but nearly familiar life.


He looked up, startled.

Jack waved towards his forgotten supper with his fork.


He picked up the plate containing steak, corn on the cob and potatoes, cutting off a bite of meat and chewing it slowly. As the flavor permeated his taste buds, he recalled how much he'd enjoyed Jack's BBQs.

When Jack had told him dinner was at seven, Daniel had thought he'd extended the invitation out of pity. Now he realized that they had done this before. Often.

His appetite was slowly returning and he began eating with relish, washing the good food down with his beer.

- - - - - -

The bugs had finally forced them inside, coming out full force looking for an evening meal. Daniel stood by the sink, rinsing the plates off and handing them to Jack. He could smell the coffee brewing off to his right, and as stuffed as he was, the sight of the brownies Sam had picked up on their way to Jack's made his mouth water in anticipation.

He yawned suddenly and he covered his gaping mouth with the side of his arm.

He caught Jack looking at him and he said, "sorry".

Five seconds later he yawned again.

"Gee, must be gate lag or something," Daniel said in an effort to explain. It was a little embarrassing; he hoped Jack didn't think he was bored. But he really was tired and dreaded the idea of the long drive back up to the mountain. Seeing as Sam would be driving, maybe he could nap in the car.

The look on Jack's face was confusing.

"What?" Daniel asked, stifling yet another yawn.

"It's just I've heard you say the same thing once before," Jack said, removing the cups from the cupboard and pouring the coffee.

Daniel took a coffee and accepted a brownie from Sam, then headed for Jack's living room. He looked around curiously as he made his way to the sofa, recognizing and remembering most of the pictures and knick knacks decorating the room.

He felt extremely comfortable in this room… in this house. He had the impression he used to come here often, and as he sat back and put his bare feet onto the coffee table he felt a tinge of darkness mar the pleasures of his reminiscing.

They had argued here. Daniel remembered storming out of the house but as he pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration, willing the obstinate memories to sharpen, the anger he remembered was overlapped by a feeling of extreme disappointment and hurt. How many times had he and Jack disagreed? Damn, it hurt to remember this, the pain was bad… was it really worth trying to rekindle this friendship if it meant going through this?

Then again, if the memories hurt so much, then he must have cared for Jack. A lot. But if that was true, where did they go wrong? And why?

The few childhood memories he could recall were ones of loneliness and sadness. His late teens and early adulthood were all about studying and research. It seemed the only good friends he'd ever had were here in this room with him.

He took a bite of brownie and felt the rich chocolate explode in his mouth. He grinned appreciatively at Sam as he sipped his coffee and savored how the two mingling flavors fit together. This he remembered.

He licked the frosting off of his fingers and relaxed against the sofa, his head resting on the back of the cushions, listening to his friends talking.

- - - - - -

A hand shaking his shoulder woke him up. He blinked and saw Jack's smiling face looking down at him.

Sitting up quickly, embarrassed for having fallen asleep, he looked around for Sam and Teal'c.

"They've gone," Jack explained when he didn't find any signs of his other two friends.

"What? But Sam was supposed to give me a lift back to the base," Daniel said dazedly. Surely Jack was mistaken and they hadn't really left.

When he saw the room was empty and the house quiet he stood up and looked for the phone, thinking of calling a cab. Then he remembered he had no money on him, and his shoulders slumped in dejection.

"Hey, don't worry. You just looked so tired I told them you could camp out in the spare room." Daniel stared at Jack, hoping that he really meant it and wasn't upset at being put out.

Jack motioned over his shoulder for him to follow and began walking out of the living room. "Come on."

He followed Jack into the spare bedroom and looked around. Although he'd been told he'd spent time at Jack's place, the room held no particular memories, unlike the rest of the house. He sat on the edge of the bed and fingered the pair of sweats Jack had left for him there.

"You okay?" Jack said, interrupting his thoughts.

"Yeah, and you're right. I am tired." He smiled and picked up the clothes, walking past Jack and into the bathroom.

- - - - - -

Daniel took the lithe, warm body into his arms, kissing her gently, inhaling her spicy scent. She kissed him back, her small hands tracing patterns on the skin of his back, sending shivers down his spine cumulating in his groin.

He moaned, and taking his mouth from hers, traced a line from her jaw to her shoulder. The skin was warm beneath his mouth, and he licked the salty sweat from the hard, muscled body. Strong hands caressed his ass and he bucked instinctively, rubbing his erection against the hard thighs lying across his body. The callused hands moved across his hips and took hold of him, caressing, squeezing, stroking.

He returned to the waiting mouth, ravaging it mercilessly as the stubbled jaw rasped against his own. He reached a hand down and grabbing the straining cock, began pumping it in rhythm to the pleasures being gifted on him.

Daniel gasped as he jerked awake, his throbbing erection making itself painfully known. He grabbed himself and quickly brought himself to orgasm, Jack's name erupting from his lips at the intensity of the pleasure.

What had just happened? He knew the woman in his dreams was his dead wife Shau're. But why had the dream changed? Why had the pleasure of making love to a man been just as intense? And not just any man, but Jack. He'd been making love to Jack.

Had this been simply an overly vivid erotic dream, or another one of his memories teasing his subconscious? It had felt good, familiar, something he thought he was still yearning for.

Had he and Jack been lovers? The thought suddenly made him nauseous. Not that he might have loved another man, but that he had no memory of having loved him.

He sat up quickly, trembling with emotion and rushed to the bathroom. He stood over the toilet until his stomach decided to settle. When he was sure he had things under control he cleaned the evidence of his orgasm off as best he could. After lowering the seat cover he sat down heavily on it, waiting for his legs to stop shaking.

He let his face drop into his hands, his elbows leaning heavily against his thighs. The dream had triggered tactile memories. The feel of Jack's hands running down his body; the sensation of his warm breath on his groin as he teased him before taking him into his mouth; his soft brown eyes darkening with desire as they looked upon Daniel with love; Jack's hard body spooned behind him as they slept together.

The sound of knocking on the door startled Daniel.

"You okay in there?"

As he got up and opened the door, Daniel realized he could smell the sex on him and Jack would probably suspect what had happened.

"I was dreaming," Daniel explained, seeing Jack squinting at him in the brightness of the bathroom lights.

"Hope it wasn't about me. That's enough to give you nightmares." Jack's expression suddenly softened as he scrutinized Daniel.

Feeling somewhat embarrassed, Daniel attempted to brush by his friend but was stopped when Jack placed a hand on his arm. Electric tingles coursed through his body at the touch. He raised his head and looked at Jack.

The pleading look in Jack's face tore at his heart. His legs suddenly weak, he asked the question he'd so innocently posed to Sam when they'd first met.

"There was something between us, wasn't there?"

Jack nodded.

"It was good, wasn't it." It was a statement rather than a question because Daniel was suddenly remembering quite a bit of what he felt for Jack. And what he thought Jack felt about him.


"But it's gone now?"

"We had some… problems." Jack couldn't seem to meet Daniel's eyes and he looked down the dark hallway.

"Oh," Daniel said, wracking his brain for any memories of these 'problems'. Several images flitted through his mind… sitting on the cement floor in the Gateroom, his wrist throbbing and Jack staring down at him while Daniel calling him a 'stupid son of a bitch'. Arguing over Jack's increasing attention to Sam and Sam's obvious fawning over Jack. Mounting tensions and misunderstandings and hurt feelings and neither wishing to talk to the other. "Those," he whispered.

He sighed as the memories invoked the loneliness he'd experienced during his last days before his ascension. Jack's hand tightened on his arm and Daniel saw the look of concern on his face.

"You remember?"

"Some of it, yes."

Jack released Daniel's arm but instead of moving away as Daniel was expecting, Jack surprised him by cupping his cheek.

"I'm sorry those are the types of things you're remembering," he said softly.

"No, I remember the good times, too." And he did. Not just the sex, but the intimacy they'd enjoyed together, the friendship which had segued into more than just two guys who enjoyed one another's company. The banter, the laughter, the teasing.

He licked his lips, enjoying the feel of Jack's warm hand against his face. He placed his own hand over Jack's and brought the palm to his mouth. Jack's eyes widened when Daniel's tongue flitted over the rough skin.

He heard Jack's shaky inhalation and took the initiative. He pulled Jack into a tentative hug, the older man immediately reciprocating by roughly grabbing Daniel around the waist, holding him tightly. Daniel could feel Jack shaking as he buried his head against Daniel's shoulder.

"Hey?" Daniel said, surprised at the emotions coursing through Jack's body.

"God, I missed you. I missed this," Jack said as he raised his head to look at Daniel.

"Me too." And he had. Missed this. Missed the hugs. The love. Feeling wanted. Feeling loved. During those last months before he ascended, and now, since he had descended.

"Come to bed?"

"Jack? I don't know…" He knew he loved this man, and was sure that Jack loved him. But there were issues. The pain he'd experienced before his ascension. Not the physical pain from the radiation poisoning, but the hurt his soul had known. That had been the reason he'd been so willing to leave and follow Oma.

He'd run away, something he usually never did. He had been tired of the bickering and animosity. And instead of trying to fight to live on Earth, he'd run away to exist on another plane of existence.

"I promise I won't try any funny stuff."

Daniel snorted, pulling away from Jack. They would talk. Soon. But not now.

"I just want to hold you, feel you in my arms again. Make sure you're real."

Daniel simply nodded and followed Jack back into his bedroom. Walking into the darkened room suddenly felt very familiar. He stopped halfway to the bed and looked around.

Jack stopped and looked at him, and realizing Jack must be thinking he'd had second thoughts, Daniel quickly stepped up and climbed into the bed. He stretched out beneath the covers, pulling Jack against him and cuddling Jack's head against his shoulder, caressing his short, soft hair. He moved his hands gently along the oh so familiar body, reacquainting himself with its hard planes and curves. For the first time since he'd awakened on that planet two months ago, alone, lost, his haunted soul searching for something he couldn't identify, he finally felt he'd come home.



Author's Comments: This fic first appeared in the "Reunited" E-zine published by Yadda Press. And silly me, I appear to already have used this title for another ficlet.


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