Well, that was..interesting. If Jack thinks he’s gonna get me to talk by using sex, he’s got another think coming. I finally manage to shove him off me and toddle toward the shower on wobbly knees; he always has that effect on me.
When I emerge, he’s still here, surprise, surprise; his expression can only be described as stormy. Without speaking, I stop in the kitchen to grab a bottle of water and head for my office, confident he will follow. After all, that’s where my ass will be. And, of course, the television is in there too.
I power up my laptop and start reading my email. Answering yet another request for assistance, I catch a whisper of movement out of the corner of my eye. He always looks so cute when he’s in stalking mode. I let him think he is sneaking up on me; I know it’s a little thing, but it keeps him happy.
“Daniel!” He thunders and I jump, even though I knew he was there.
“Geez, Jack, are you trying to give me a heart attack?”
The smirk comes swiftly, so naturally that I think about smacking him. “You’ve got a helluva lot of nerve to say that to me, kid. Why didn’t you tell me that Makepeace attacked you?” He perches on the corner of my desk, instead of in front of the TV.
See, I had this little corner of my office fixed up just for him. Broke down and bought one of those huge entertainment centers that came complete with an obscenely large television, lots of boxes of unknown origin, fourteen miles of cable, cord and wire and a small army of men to install it all. It usually keeps him distracted long enough for me to get some work done; plus there is the added bonus of having him right where I can keep my eye on him.
No greater love hath any man than he upgrade his cable package.
“Daniel!” His shout brings me out of my reverie. “Makepeace. Talk to me.” He snags my right hand, effectively stopping me from working.
“Nothing happened, Jack. I’m fine, you’re back, everything’s okay. Just drop it.” I can tell by his refusal to relinquish my hand that he’s not in the dropping it mood. “He didn’t hurt me, Jack.” Not much, anyway.
“So if I pick up that phone and call the doc, she’ll confirm that?”
I force myself not to squirm under the intensity of that stare because I know what she would say. Severe bruising on my throat, plus some other dandy ones that he doesn’t know about, hence my attempt to keep him out of my bed for a few days. If he sees those, he will go ballistic. So I try to bluff. “Go ahead. I believe she’s on ‘til six.” I give him my most innocent expression, make with the dimples for good measure but I can tell it’s not on. “Jack, he just thought I knew something, that’s all.”
He is regretfully good at connecting the dots. “I knew it was a bad idea! I should never have let you in on that.”
What Sam and Teal’c and even General Hammond don’t know is that I knew what was going on from the beginning. I read Jack so very well that I knew something was up and I harassed him, even threatened to go to Hammond, until he broke down and told me the truth.
So I knew what was going to happen on Tollanna before we ever set foot on the planet. However, the confrontation in Jack’s house was not part of the Big Plan. Neither was the drawing straws thing; Teal’c and Sam cornered me and forced me into that because they know Jack will listen to me when he will listen to no one else.
So I took myself off to Jack’s house like the good boy that I am. To say that he was shocked when I turned up on his doorstep would be a major understatement. In total desperation, he used the finest weapon he has always had against me. He hurt my feelings. He knows this will not work with Teal’c or Sam, but it will work with me every time.
When he looked right at me with those flat, emotionless eyes and said that our relationship had no foundation, it was like being stabbed with a very sharp, very icy knife. Consequently when I watched him walk through the gate that last time, even though I knew it was an act, there was a part of me with a genuinely broken heart. And that’s one thing he will never, ever know.
His expression is thunderous so I try a distraction. I lean my chair back, not surprised when his eyes widen, rake over me from head to toe. I knew there was a reason I put on the well-worn jeans and T-shirt. “What do you plan to do, beat it out of me?” That wicked glint in his eye gives me just a bit of a tremor that I bravely suppress.
I know that he would never hit me, but he must think he can get it out of me, one way or another. “Just remember, I’m younger and all my parts still work.” His eyes narrow. Yeah, scored with that one, didn’t I? He leans forward and slides my glasses off. Oh, I see his evil plan now.
“And that’s not gonna work either. Remember, I was celibate a lot longer than you were. And if I get desperate, there’s always Teal’c. You know he loves me...” He shoves my chair away as he leaps to his feet and stomps away. I shout after him, “So, Teal’c is out, right?”
I just let him go; when he is like this, he is best left alone. I close my eyes and replay the scene in my mind.
It was truly the last thing I expected that night, when I opened my door to see Makepeace standing there. He shoved past me and pushed the door shut. “I’ve had about all of you I’m gonna take, Jackson.”
He had actually gotten very little of me, hence his present state. I spoke to him coolly, when I actually deigned to speak to him at all. I usually addressed myself to Teal’c or Sam and infuriated him even further by ignoring him in briefings and speaking directly to General Hammond.
“I want to know what you and Hammond were talking about today.”
The good general had called me into his office to express his concern; he knew this thing with Jack had devastated me. Is it my fault the general has a well documented soft spot for me? I knew I shouldn’t bait Makepeace, but I couldn’t quite help myself. I work up a smirk that would do Jack O’Neill justice. “That’s none of your..” I realized how badly I had misjudged him when I ended up shoved against the door, with the knob digging painfully into my back.
“That’s where you’re wrong, Jackson, everything you do,” he emphasized his words by pressing his thumbs into my throat, “everything is my business, as long as I’m your commanding officer. You need to remember that, I’m the commander of SG-1, not you and not O’Neill. I don’t know why he’s kept you around; all those stories must have been true.” His look could only be described as disdainful. “I can’t understand why he risked his whole career for a piece of ass. You must be pretty damn good.”
“You’ll never find out,” I managed to murmur, stretching my neck in a vain attempt to get some more breathing room.
He pressed even harder on my throat, my hands on his wrists having no effect whatsoever. “Since I’m taking over for O’Neill anyway...” The look on his face made me shudder and I cursed myself for letting him feel my fear. For a man like Makepeace, rape has absolutely nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with dominance, control, a show of power; it is the ultimate violation of someone’s safety zone. Even if it’s a man you’re raping. Especially so.
Abruptly, he thrust his body into mine. My brain finally sounded the alarm when he started forcing me to the floor. I knew that once he got me down, I didn’t have a chance. Adrenalin and training and fear finally kicked in and I shoved back, surprising him into releasing me, and I jolted him across the cheek with my elbow. He fell back and I grabbed the door, managing to get it opened.
“Too bad you have to be going, Colonel, maybe we can continue this conversation somewhere less private. Say, the base?”
“This is not over, Jackson. You just better watch your back.” I locked the door behind him and slowly slid to the floor.
Jack plops down in his little corner of my world and turns on the TV. That is the only sound in the room for several minutes. I glance over to see what he’s watching, it’s usually a good way to gauge his mood. Sports makes him happy, but only if his team wins.
He will sometimes stop on one of the food channels if some guy is grilling in the parking lots of some sporting event. I thought you came, you saw, you went home, who knew it was a social gathering? And if he is watching the news, then it’s look out below; he starts shouting at the set.
I wince as I see the CNN logo. “You know it’s only because I’m worried about you, don’t you?” He shifts so that he is facing me; his long legs sprawled across the arm of his chair.
I hide my smile at the little whine in his voice and respond with my best patient parent voice. I truly sympathize with folks trying to raise a difficult child. “Yes, Jack, I know that.”
“Daniel,” his voice is suddenly serious, “you’d tell me if someone really hurt you, wouldn’t you? I just…I need to know.”
His concern melts me. “Jack, I’m fine, he didn’t hurt me, just scared me some.”
I breathe a sigh of relief at the tone of his voice, glad that the crisis is past. “Just a bit. Yeah, he pushed me around, but..” I am so damn stupid, I didn’t even see the trap until he had sprung it around me.
“Did he put his hands on you?” He is up and hovering menacingly at my side in an instant. “Daniel, I’m talking to you. Did he put his hands on you?” I can neither answer nor meet his eyes. “Don’t make me go down there and beat the truth out of him, because I promise you I will. Now, for the last time, did he put his hands on you?”
I recognize a threat when I hear one. “Yes.” I whisper.
“I will kill him. I will fucking kill him.” The fact that there is nothing but cold determination in his voice petrifies me.
“Jack, you can’t.”
Before I realize what is happening, he has me out of the chair and pinned between his rigid body and the wall. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do. I would kill him for this,” his hands are strong and hard on my throat, “alone.”
“Jack.” It’s all I can manage to get out.
His eyes instantly lose their glaze of ice and he is Jack once again. “God, Daniel! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” I am shaking so badly that he has to practically carry me to the couch. We end up tangled together, his hands pulling me close.
“It’s okay, Jack.” We both feel the shudders racking my body.
“It’s not okay, Daniel. I’m worse than Makepeace, shoving you around, threatening you, and scaring you.” He peels my hands away from my face. “I’m sorry I hurt you. Can you tell me what he did to you?”
The honest truth is that Jack scared me much worse than Makepeace ever did, hence all the shaking and shuddering. “I’m okay.” I’m not sure who I’m trying to convince.
“No, you’re not. He hurt you, didn’t he? Show me, Daniel.” I reluctantly pull my shirt up and bare the bruises on my back. His hands are gentle as he traces them. “Is there anything else? Did he...?”
My sluggish brain finally engages. “No, Jack, he didn’t, I promise you he didn’t. He threatened to,” I stumble over the words, “but he didn’t. Janet would have known and she would have been obligated to report it, don’t you know? He didn’t rape me.”
He flinches at the word. “But he would have if you hadn’t fought him off?”
Jack seems to have calmed down, but he is still very dangerous. If I tell him that Makepeace intended to rape me, there isn’t a safe place anywhere for him. “He didn’t and that’s all that matters. I really just want to forget about it, okay?” I close my eyes as he settles me back down, listening to the familiar thump of his heart under my ear. We sit together in the warm silence and I know he is waiting for my insides to stop quivering. My breathing is slowly inching towards normal when the phone jolts me. “Jack?”
“Hmm?” His hands are still idly playing with my hair.
“Let me up?”
“So I can answer that.”
“Because it’s probably Sam, thinking you’ve killed me.”
“Let her think it.”
“If I don’t answer, she and Teal’c will ride to my rescue.”
“Crap!” He lets my head thump the couch as he slides out from under me. “What?” He snarls into the phone. I stretch out full length, snagging a cushion for my head. A nap sounds like a good idea, since all the excitement is over. Until he sticks the phone in my ear. “Here, tell Carter you’re not dead.”
“I’m not dead,” I repeat obediently into the phone.
“Not yet anyway.” The good times are obviously over as he heads for my office.
“So he didn’t take it well?” I can hear the amusement in her voice.
“Oh, yeah, he’s pissed.”
“I heard that!”
“I thought people’s hearing got worse as they aged?” I moan to Sam.
“Heard that too, asshole!”
Her amusement turns to out and out laughter. I crawl off the couch, searching for my glasses. Where did I leave them? I wander into my office and locate them on the desk, telling her, “Oh, he’ll be alright, after he pouts awhile.” This earns a snort from the ‘he’ in question, who raises the volume on the television in spiteful retribution.
I grab my laptop and head back for the couch. Maybe I can get some work done. I am barely seated when Jack lands nearly atop me. “Ummmph. Sam, I’m gonna have to go. Jack’s decided to play nice now.” He grabs the phone from my hand and tosses it over his shoulder. My laptop is treated a bit better as he slides it under the coffee table. “Jack, did you hang that up?”
“Hmm?” I wince as he bends my still bruised body in a completely unnatural angle over the arm of the couch.
“Jack, focus. Sam, phone, hang up.”
“Don’t move,” he holds me down with one hand as he fumbles for the phone.
“I thought there was a game on?”
“Don’t they have something to put over the field?”
“Like what? A big umbrella? Where did that damn thing go?”
“I’m almost positive you’re not going to find it there,” I observe primly.
“Sorry,” he smirks, obviously not. Finally coming up with it, he hits the end button and drops it back onto the floor. His eyes have a decidedly predatory look when he faces me and I am seriously considering flight when the phone starts again.
“Dammit, Daniel, must you be so popular?” He searches and barks into it. “What the hell do you want now?” His face is a picture. “Sorry, sir, I thought you were…what? Are you sure? How the hell?” He shakes his head. “Yes, sir, we’ll be right there.” When he throws the phone this time, it’s in pure anger.
“Jack, what happened?”
I draw my feet up as he sits on the coffee table in front of me. “It’s Maybourne. They went after him and he was already gone. He got away.” We sit in silence, just staring at each other. Then he slaps my leg. “Come on, Daniel, let’s go.” I follow him obediently.
Jack looks across at me in the briefing room and he has that look on his face. The one that says he is imagining all sorts of bad-things-happen-to-Daniel scenarios. For some odd reason, Jack thinks I’m fragile, don’t ask me where he got that notion. But, truthfully, if I were as fragile as he seems to think I am, I would have shattered a couple of tragedies ago.
“We sent a team as soon as you came through the gate, Colonel. He was gone when they got there.”
“Someone tipped him?”
“Seems logical, Major. We don’t have any idea of where he went or where he’ll turn up next.”
For some reason, all eyes are on me. “What?” Jack is furious, Teal’c quietly determined, Sam frankly concerned.
“Sir, I agreed to this only because I was guaranteed that my team would be safe. What kind of protection can we offer him..them now?” I give him my best glare. Thank you, Jack everyone knows the ‘him’ of whom you speak.
The general doesn’t even pretend not to understand. “I share your concern for Dr. Jackson’s safety. As the only civilian on your team, he is the natural target.”
“You mean, I’m an easy target.” I simply quit getting pissed about this ages ago.
“He didn’t say that, Daniel. As a civilian..”
“Colonel Maybourne knows that we would all react adversely to an attempt on your person. This would make you the natural target in any attack of retribution. He is without honor.” Not exactly a newsflash, there, big fella.
Jack meets my eyes. “General, Daniel would like to file charges against Makepeace.”
“Jack,” I scold him softly.
His eyes never waver. “Colonel Makepeace physically attacked Daniel. And attempted to,” he stops for only a second, “sexually assault him.”
General Hammond wades into the stunned silence. “Dr. Jackson, is this true?” Abjectly embarrassed, I simply hang my head and nod. “I expect a written, detailed report on my desk by the end of the day. Do I make myself clear, Dr. Jackson?” I can do nothing but nod again. “Colonel O’Neill. My office. Now.” He eases my discomfort by laying his hand on my shoulder as be passes by.
“Daniel Jackson, why was I not informed of this attack?”
“It was nothing, Teal’c.”
“Get him to show you the bruises,” Jack offers as he leaves the room.
“I require that you show me these bruises. Now.”
“I will not.” I leap up. “Geez, I’m not a little kid.”
“I require to see these marks. You may show them to me willingly or unwillingly. The choice is yours.”
There are a lot of fights you simply cannot win. Any battle with Teal’c inevitably leads to surrender, my surrender. I complain bitterly but I pull my shirt out of my pants and shove it up. I hear Sam’s soft oath. From Teal’c, I hear nothing. “Satisfied?”
“No.” He moves toward the door, but I anticipate him and plant myself firmly in front of him. “Daniel Jackson, please remove yourself from my path.”
“No, Teal’c, you’re not going down there and beating the crap out of Makepeace. I’ve already talked Jack out of that. “At least, I hope I have. “This accomplishes nothing, nothing. He can’t hurt me anymore; he’s never getting out of a cell.” Teal’c is clearly unmoved. “I won’t let you do this, Teal’c, anymore than I would let Jack do it. Please, for me? Promise me you won’t?”
He stares at me for long moments and I am certain that I have failed. Finally, he slowly nods, fighting his anger. “I promise you that I will not touch Colonel Makepeace. However, if I encounter Colonel Maybourne, I cannot promise to be so lenient.” I suppose it’s the best compromise I can hope for.
“Daniel, why didn’t you tell me about this?” Sam is visibly upset.
“Because I knew what would happen. Exactly this. I’ll tell you the same thing I told Jack. He threatened me, shoved me around, but I’m not hurt.”
“Don’t worry, Daniel. Maybourne isn’t getting anywhere near you.”
“Like there’s any chance he will? Can you see Jack letting me go pee without an armed guard now?” She smiles a bit and shakes her head. “Listen, I’m just as worried about you guys. We’re all targets. Just promise me you’ll be careful, that you won’t take any chances?”
“I’ll take a zat when I go pee, how’s that?”
“I guess that will have to do.” We share a little grin. Since I’m here anyway, I might as well get some work done. I start out the door and realize that my shadow is considerably bigger than I am. Without turning, I query, “Teal’c?”
“You will go nowhere unaccompanied, Daniel Jackson.”
“Teal’c, I’m perfectly safe on base.”
“Someone warned Colonel Maybourne. It is logical to assume that person was on this base. Until that person is apprehended, you will be accompanied everywhere you go, on base as well as off base.”
“Okay, that’s gonna be...crowded.” He silently follows me to my office and stands guard, in his quiet way at the door. Finally, I can stand the silence no longer. “Teal’c, I’m not a fool.”
“I do not believe anyone suggested so.”
“I know Maybourne’s out there, and that he has an ax to grind. And I’m his weapon of choice.”
“Are you afraid, Daniel Jackson?”
“Yes, yes, I am. I’m afraid that you and Sam and Jack are so focused on me that you forget about your own safety. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to one of you guys because of me.”
“You need hold no fear for my safety; I am capable of protecting both myself and you. That is my promise to you, Daniel Jackson.”
I wasn’t actually telling Teal’c the whole truth. Yeah, I’m scared and not just for them; I’d be a fool not to be frightened. If anyone really wants to get to Jack, all they have to do is use me. And everyone, including Maybourne, knows that.