Daniel shifted on his bed, unable to focus on the TV screen. He’d put in the Indy movie to distract himself. It was a common go-to when he needed to unpack his brain from a nasty mission and he’d been sure it would work. But it hadn’t worked. It hadn’t been a mission but it had been all kinds of nasty. He hadn’t even seen it coming, which made it worse. He kept replaying events—the ones he could remember. What followed was a myriad of emotions, from confusion to shame to embarrassment to anger. They kept repeating, a vicious cycle. Some sort of circle of hell Dante had edited from the original script.
He picked up his phone and opened up the contacts. He sat there staring at Jack’s number. He then remembered he had the man on speed dial ... and had forgotten. His mind really wasn’t together and he hated it. He wanted to call him but ... what the hell was there to talk about? Her? No. Just no.
This was the time when he could go over to Jack’s, eat, spar, then have sex. Any old type. Forgetful, comfort, whatever. But just the thought of having sex made his stomach tighten up, followed by his balls. He felt ... castrated.
Jack stood staring into the fridge. He was and wasn’t hungry. There was a need inside but he couldn’t put a name on it. For the umpteenth time, he’d gotten up from watching the same scene in the movie to get something from the fridge or freezer, but then he’d end up staring. He wasn’t seeing the food. He was seeing her, and the bath, and those things.
Right now, Jack completely understood Daniel’s need to shoot up that goddamn Goa’uld container.
His brain kept replacing the larvae with fly larvae and each time, he’d shudder. Food was definitely out. He was hungry. He wasn’t hungry. He wanted ... to hit something. Break it. Pulverize it. But there was nothing. He could just take a piece of furniture out back and take to it with a sledgehammer. But then what? He’d feel stupid and angry afterward, wasting his time, wasting a decent piece of furniture.
Jack returned to the living room, picked up the remote, stared at the TV, then clicked it off. Screw Netflix. Screw watching something. He needed action. But he didn’t want to do action. Not that action. He picked up his phone, stared at the contacts listing he’d left on the screen. He wanted to connect with Daniel but had no idea what to say. He wanted to call Teal’c but had no idea what to say.
Abruptly, his hands went to his abdomen and rubbed. An all-over shudder hit him accompanied by nausea and ... it happened again. He made it to the toilet this time.
He began to sweat. Heat washed over him and with it, the need to wash, to be clean, to scour. He ran to the bathroom, chucking off his clothes along the way, and got under the shower still wearing his t-shirt and boxer briefs. He grabbed the body wash and scrubbed... and scrubbed ... and scrubbed. He began crying. It was angry, complete with hitting the tile walls with the sides of his fists, cursing. The only word he uttered was “Fuck!” until he realized it had two meanings and he changed it to the word he rarely used. The one with mother in front of it.
He was forced to remove his t-shirt and shorts, now sodden with soap residue. He slid down the wall of the walk-in shower and wrapped his arms around himself, continuing to cry as he let the near-scalding water run.
Jack toweled himself dry after the long shower, making a mental note to buy a bigger water heater. He was angry that he couldn’t have stayed in there longer. He didn’t feel clean.
Knowing that there was nothing he could do or say that felt normal, that satisfied the need to just stop all those goddamn feelings, he donned his pajama bottoms and crawled into bed. Sleep would bring blessed oblivion.
Unknowingly thinking along the same lines, Daniel had crawled into his own bed. But two hours later, he’d jerked himself awake, heart pounding, body sweating profusely. He stared at the ceiling, recovering, then grimaced and fought off the urge to cry. Failed. He was about to hit the shower again when he passed his dresser, eye on the small top drawer, and halted. He blinked, staring at the drawer, then the biggest hit of relief swept over him. And he knew what he had to do.
Jack sat on the floor of the bedroom, back against the side of the bed. He was exhausted and angry and full of despair. He knew what was going on. And the only outlet he knew to handle it was something that made him grimace in disgust: calling a hotline. Talking to a stranger? Like hell.
He covered his eyes with the heels of his hands as he rested his elbows on his knees. He had to figure out a way to sleep that didn’t involve getting completely shitfaced. Going that route would only lead to pain and he already had more than enough to deal with. If only the local dispensary was open in the middle of the night. He’d buy a few joints. He could go there in the morning. He knew he’d never do it, even though the urge to find relief was incredibly strong. But he needed sleep. This bullshit wouldn’t level out if he didn’t get it.
His palms moved to his ears, pressing hard, and it was then that he could’ve sworn he heard thumping. Removing his hands, the thumping turned into knocking. He knew it could only be one person. He hated to do it, but he’d have to send Daniel away. He wasn’t up for talking. He wasn’t up for comfort, either. Not only no, but hell no.
With a sigh, Jack went to the front door in his bare feet. He opened his mouth to tell Daniel to forget it but froze as the man stood there in t-shirt and pajama bottoms—also barefoot—and held up a joint.
Jack’s shoulders sagged. “I love you.” He didn’t smile.
Daniel didn’t either. “I know.”
It had been a while for both of them. They held each other on the couch. And slept without dreaming.