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"No rope?" Jack sulked.

"Not if you want to, you know, do stuff to the evil dictator," Daniel replied firmly.

"That was the only part that, well..." Jack sighed. "You don't have to if it bothers you, but I really wanted to, you know, return the favor and it bugs me that he wouldn't let me."

"Me, too," Daniel admitted. "Do you remember your safewords?"

Jack made a dismissive noise. "I don't think I'll need them if you're not going to tie me up again."

Daniel sighed. Jack moved towards Daniel, but was stopped with a hand braced against his shoulder. Daniel gave him a long, calculating look. Threat-assessing. Then slowly, he nodded.

Daniel watched warily as Jack settled between his legs, leaning closer... and leapt backwards, up against the headboard. "Sorry sorry sorry sorry, yellow, sorry..."

"Danny?" Jack asked anxiously, frozen, wondering what the hell he'd done. He hadn't even touched Daniel.

Daniel shivered. "Just..."

Jack wrapped his arms around Daniel, kissing his shoulder. "It's okay," he reassured. "You want to stop?"

Daniel turned his head and gave him a long, strange look. Jack tried to smile reassuringly, but only succeeded in looking confused.

"No," Daniel answered. "I'm okay, I just..." Daniel sighed. "Just give me a second." He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

"We can do something else..." Jack offered.

"No," Daniel interrupted, quietly, but with absolute authority. Slipping into playing evil Dr. Jackson was just as easy as it was the last time.

Jack blinked. He found the sudden transition disturbing.

"I want to fuck you," Daniel commented pleasantly.

"But I wanted to give you a blow..." Jack started.

"I said no," Daniel cut him off.

Jack raised his hands and kind of inched away on the bed. "Forget I said anything. We'll do whatever you want. Again."

"We can not do anything at all," Daniel suggested coldly.

"Yellow," Jack said, hurt, and grateful that Daniel had insisted upon safewords.

Daniel closed his eyes and shivered.

"Um, okay, don't take this..." Jack started. "That's what I wanted to do last time and you said no.  Now you don't want me to go down on you. Why?"

Daniel closed his eyes and sat silently for a scary moment, said, softly, "I still don't trust you."

"What do I have to do?" Jack asked, sincerely.

Daniel considered this, then answered, softly, "I could have given you anything, Jack. But it wasn't enough if you had to have me in the bargain, was it?"

"No!" Jack protested. "That's not... no!"

"You didn't even wait for any evidence! No, no, you didn't need evidence, you knew!"

Jack just stared blankly, completely clueless, although it sounded pretty ominous. Daniel glared back. Jack tried to think of something to say, but all he could come up with was a quiet, "I'm sorry."

Daniel gave him a long, guarded look, then knelt up on the bed beside Jack and tilted his head up for a kiss. "Please," Jack whispered softly into Daniel's lips. "Anything."

Daniel gave Jack another long, assessing look. He nodded and lay back and closed his eyes, his breathing labored and his body tense. Jack leaned closer, placing a hand on Daniel's thigh. Daniel flinched.

"I can't," Jack said softly. "It feels wrong." Jack looked up at Daniel, who was lying very still, his eyes closed. "Red." He moved up to hug Daniel. "You... okay?"

Daniel sighed, rolled closer to Jack, and leaned his forehead against Jack's. After a long pause, he admitted in a whisper, "You thought I had Teal'c killed."

"Okay," Jack started winding himself up into a protective rage, "a lot of this makes a lot more sense now, but... I wouldn't, because I know you." Jack wished he had that annoying little pseudo-Zen cloud-kid here right now so he could give him a piece of his mind. "Why would I think that?" Jack demanded.

Daniel gave Jack an almost pitying look of despair, and Jack felt an icy certainty creep across his gut. It must have shown in his eyes, because Daniel flinched away from his eyes, admitting quietly, "Because I did."

Jack pulled Daniel closer and kissed him softly on the head. "Why?" he asked gently.

"The genetic memory of the Goa'uld," Daniel admitted in a quiet rush. "Not the Shol'va thing--that made me want to slap him on the back and say, 'Way to go!' I..." Daniel took a deep breath. "Apophis' memories." He looked up at Jack. Jack looked earnest yet blank, so Daniel explained, "I saw Teal'c present Sha'uri to Apophis in the Abydos gateroom. I saw her taken as a host. I saw her--well, Ammaunet--and Apophis..." Daniel shoved his hands against his forehead like he could shove the thoughts out of his head. "Ammaunet's memories, too. I... I..." Sha'uri had fought Ammaunet. He'd remembered, through Ammaunet's memories, passed on to Shifu. She'd never stopped fighting. Of course, she wouldn't. Not his Sha'uri.

"Jesus," Jack breathed, horrified, squeezing Daniel close.

"I thought I was strong enough to... but the first thing I did was..." Daniel trembled. "I like Teal'c! I thought I could handle it."

"Shh," Jack reassured, raining soft kisses on Daniel's face. "It's okay. No one... no one could." Daniel shivered closer, and Jack squeezed him. "How much is still there?"

"Just the memory of... just... I remember knowing it, but..." Daniel frowned. "Not much." Thankfully.

"Don't ever try to handle something like that alone," Jack chided gently. "I mean, I know you were afraid I'd freak or something, but... see, I know the worst of it now, and..."

Daniel laughed, a strange, harsh laugh, blinking back tears. Jack looked worried, so he shook his head and managed to gasp out, "Not... the worst." He managed to catch his breath. "The only... personal." He paused, taking a deep breath. He opened his mouth to continue, then closed it again, sighing.

"You conquered Starbucks?" Jack suggested.

"It's so difficult for a world dictator to get a decent cup of coffee otherwise," Daniel replied. "You have no idea."

Daniel appeared to be back, but Jack sensed that he was still brittle. "Want me to run you a bubblebath?"

"Yes," Daniel replied immediately.

Jack hopped up to start the tub, making sure it wasn't too hot.

"Don't let it get too full," Daniel called after him. "You're joining me."

"In that case, I think your bath awaits," Jack answered, amused.

"You first." Jack climbed in, and Daniel climbed in between Jack's legs, leaning back against Jack's chest, head falling back as he sighed. "I love you," Jack whispered. He wrapped his arms around Daniel and kissed his cheek.

"I needed you, so badly, and you hated me," Daniel said softly.

"Don't try to handle shit like that alone. If I had known, I..." Jack squeezed him closer for emphasis.

"I couldn't," Daniel said. "I didn't think I would... I thought I could handle it, but... and then you hated me." He started shaking, and Jack tightened his grip and buried his lips gently in Daniel's hair. "Until you saw me, that is," he added. "You did still see me in him, I could see it." The shaking slowed down. "My conscience," Daniel added with a laugh.

"You weren't a benevolent dictator?" Jack asked, teasing gently.

"Um... no," Daniel sighed.

"Hogged all the coffee?" Jack asked, sympathetically.

Daniel snorted and leaned back against Jack. "Still think the evil Daniel thing is hot?"

"I always think any Daniel thing is hot," Jack corrected.

Daniel sighed and snuggled closer. Jack squeezed him close, kissing his cheek, and whispered loving gibberish into Daniel's ear while Daniel slowly relaxed against him.


Jack looked down at Daniel's peaceful sleeping face. He couldn't sleep. He'd never believed Daniel, not once, when Daniel told him he'd left evil Dr. Jackson... until now. He leaned down and softly kissed Daniel's cheek. Daniel squirmed closer.

"You should go to sleep," Daniel murmured, half-asleep.

Jack still wanted to save evil Dr. Jackson. Still. Always.

"Jack?" Daniel asked, slightly more awake.

"Sorry," Jack whispered back. "He just... makes me sad."

Daniel lifted his head and blinked blearily at Jack, surprised. "I'm sorry," Daniel sighed. "I wouldn't have told you any of this stuff if I knew it would keep you up..."

"I think that's the fucking problem," Jack exploded. "I think you should bother me."

Daniel blinked again.

"Sorry," Jack muttered.

"Um, that's... okay?" Daniel stuck his finger on his nose, trying to push up glasses that weren't there, then wrinkled his forehead and looked up at Jack. "Are you...?"

"I hate the idea of him trying to handle that genetic memory thing alone," Jack admitted gruffly.

"Oh," Daniel replied.

Jack gave Daniel a dirty look. Daniel kissed him on the cheek. Jack sighed.

"Well," Daniel started. He paused, running long, delicate fingers along Jack's cheek. "Shifu's not going to give me the genetic memory of the Goa'uld. I think that's kind of the point."

"I guess," Jack grumbled. He looked away and muttered, "Breaks my heart." He looked back, shyly. Daniel was staring at him, amazed. "What?"

"You feel sorry for him--Dr. Jackson," Daniel admitted, dazed.

"That piss him off?" Jack teased.

Daniel shook his head. "I think he wants to give you Minnesota," he replied, wonderingly.

"I've got what I want," Jack replied. "Although, if you're promising me stuff, how about a dog?"

"I'm kind of a cat person, but I could deal with a dog," Daniel offered generously.

"What do you see in those annoying furballs?" Jack teased.

"Well," Daniel answered thoughtfully, "you kind of need to speak cat to appreciate them."

Jack snorted quiet laughter. "Only you."

"No, lots of people like cats," Daniel retorted teasingly.

"Only you could teach me to speak cat," Jack clarified.

"No yapping," Daniel objected with a wince.

"No," Jack agreed.

"We should sleep," Daniel commented with a yawn.

"Yeah," Jack concurred.

Daniel smiled, then snuggled closer. They both slept peacefully.