Coming Home by JoaG

Pulling up in Jack’s driveway and parking beside the Avalanche, Daniel turned the ignition off and stared at the darkened windows. It *was* three a.m., after all, but somehow Daniel felt a little put out that Jack wasn’t pacing the house worrying about him. He felt guilty the moment he thought it. Jack didn’t deserve this. Not tonight.

Daniel got out of the Thunderbird, quietly closing the door behind him. He walked up to the door, noting that Jack hadn’t even left the outside light on for him. He definitely hadn’t expected him to come over tonight. And why should he? Daniel had made it very clear that that he hadn’t wanted to see Jack. Key in hand, Daniel leaned tiredly against the closed door for a moment, debating whether he should go inside.

Three days ago, he’d gone straight home after storming out of the briefing room when General Hammond had dismissed them. He still couldn’t believe that Jack had recommended to the General and Janet that he not be permitted offworld for at least another week. And here Daniel had been doing his best to prove to Janet that he was fine and ready to go.

How could Jack have come out and confided to them all that Daniel hadn’t been sleeping properly since the alien entity had left him? Of course it was true, but now thanks to his lover, Janet had forced Daniel into a week’s medical leave. And did she think that with Jack and the rest of SG1 having been offworld for the past two days would have helped him sleep any better? Damn but he was tired of being tired and sick of feeling like shit.

Daniel quietly inserted his key, his need to make sure that Jack was okay overpowering his need to keep up his pretence at being angry. He’d heard from Sam earlier tonight, and she’d told him that they’d had a very rough mission. No injuries, thank god, but they were all exhausted. Daniel had lain in bed worrying, wondering if Jack was really okay. Finally, he’d gotten dressed and had driven over here, to try and allay his fears.

He toed off his shoes at the door and tiptoed through the dark house to the bedroom. As he stood in the doorway, he looked at his lover who was clearly illuminated by the light of the moon shining in the window. Jack was lying sprawled inelegantly on his back, snoring softly. The comforter had been pushed off the bed, the sheet pulled up to Jack’s hips, exposing his bare chest. Blackie, the neighbour’s cat, was curled up on Jack’s chest, head tucked up underneath Jack’s chin. Daniel smiled at the sight, the familiar sounds of Jack’s nasal breathing easing the tightness in his chest just a bit.

He walked softly to the bed and knelt on the floor beside Jack. With a shaking hand, he gently caressed the stubbled cheek. He was gladdened to note that there was no fever. Of course Janet wouldn’t have released Jack if he’d been sick, but Daniel had had to check for himself. His eyes raked over his lover’s relaxed body, noting that there were no bandages, bruises or other marks on the beloved form.

He heard a soft chirrup and looked up to Blackie’s strangely luminescent green eyes staring at him.

“Hi sweetheart,” Daniel whispered to her as he petted her soft head. He noted that she’d almost doubled in size since the last time he’d seen her. She stretched her length along Jack’s chest before sliding off and jumping off the bed. Daniel heard her pad into the kitchen, probably looking for a snack.

Suddenly overwhelmed with fatigue, Daniel sat on the floor, leaning his forehead against the mattress. He noted suddenly that Jack was no longer snoring, and he looked up and saw chocolate brown eyes watching him with concern. He raised his head, feeling embarrassed at being caught.

“Danny,” Jack said softly. He pulled the sheet up, inviting Daniel to join him. Hesitating only a split second, Daniel slid his body beside Jack’s. He felt like he could sleep now as he laid his head in the same spot Blackie had occupied moments earlier. Jack’s arms tightened around him, and Daniel sighed contentedly.

Okay, once he’d had gotten over the humiliation, he’d realized that Jack had been right in his assessment of his physical condition. He’d let his anger override his sensibility, and had suffered doubly for it. He’d missed Jack terribly and hadn’t slept anyways, and felt guilty about what he’d said to him and hated that he’d gone off world with angry words between them.

Jack’s hands rubbed his shoulders, and he realized he’d come home.  


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