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TEN WEEKS.

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August 9.

10 weeks.

10 long weeks since I last updated my journal.

10 long weeks since … the accident.

I know this has all been written in the official reports, but at last I have some free time so I can make a personal log entry.

Okay! Well, I suppose I should start at the beginning. May 31 to be precise.

P4X-596 had been visited by a couple of SG teams previously, who’d found rich deposits of naquadah. The elders of the village near the deposit had been willing to enter into an agreement with Earth.

We could mine the naquadah in return for medicine, tools and agricultural equipment. All it needed was someone to go out there with the set up treaty, explain it to them, cross the t’s and dot the i’s. They were a friendly people; their world untouched by the Goa’uld. It would be a simple mission, or so we thought.

Jack had been offered a job at the Pentagon. He had a couple of weeks to sort everything out in the Springs, then he’d be off. He decided to come with us for ‘one last jaunt through the old orifice’. (His words, not mine!)

To say I was disappointed he was going to Washington would be an understatement, but that’s another story. Anyway, my heart soared to think he was coming with us. I’d missed him - more than I could say. Yeah, we’d always argued and bickered, but we were friends and friends do that, don’t they?

So, it was like old times as the four of us stepped out of the gate on P4X-596. The elders and villagers came to meet us, milling around as if we were long lost friends.

We joined them for a meal and then Jack, Sam and Teal’c wandered off while I explained the agreement. We both signed and it was done.

When I joined the others, they were kicking a ball around with a group of kids. Jack was really enjoying himself, despite his ACL problem. He seemed to have hit it off with one of the kids; a small boy with long blond hair. Best guess; he was probably about 6 years old.

When Jack came over for a drink, he’d explained the kid reminded him of Charlie, the son he’d lost so many years earlier. We watched them for a while. Suddenly the ball sped across the ground towards the edge of the cliff and the kid ran after it.

I can’t remember the last time I saw Jack move that fast. He pushed the kid out of the way, skidding in the loose gravel to kick the ball back to the other kids. Unfortunately, Jack couldn’t stop and the momentum of his speed carried him forward and head first over the edge of the cliff. It happened so fast that, for a moment, I just stood and gaped at the empty spot where Jack had just been standing.

Shaking myself out of the stupor, I yelled to Sam and Teal’c and ran to the edge, peering over the side. I could see Jack’s body lying still and silent at the bottom.

The cliff was about 100 feet high. It was vertical for the first 30 feet, then it angled out into a steep incline. Sharp, jagged rocks jutted out all the way down, accompanied by gravel on the incline.

I heard Sam shout my name. When I looked up, she was pointing to a diagonal track leading down the cliff about 50 yards away from my position. I ran as fast as I could to join her and Teal’c as they made their way down to reach Jack.

We were horrified at the sight that greeted us. Jack must have somersaulted and tumbled all the way down.

He was covered from head to foot in blood. Both his legs were bent under him at unnatural angles, bones sticking out of the ripped BDU’s. One of his arms was also bent out of shape. There was a large gash on his head. The skin was badly grazed down one side of his face.

Teal’c ran to the gate to bring back a medical team. Sam and I knelt either side of Jack. He was still breathing – just. Underneath the blood pouring from the gash, his face was pale. Blood was trickling out of the corner of his mouth. I looked up at Sam and noticed the tears in her eyes as she shook her head sadly. The only thing we could do to help him was staunch the blood flow from the head wound. We didn’t dare try to move his broken body. We had to wait for the med team.

By this time the elders and villagers had crowded around, talking in whispers. They were creeping in closer and closer and I looked up in alarm at Sam. She nodded and rose to speak to the elders. Gradually she managed to shoo them away; to give us a bit of space.

As I watched her, I felt a touch on my hand. I looked down to see Jack peering through half open eyes and trying to catch my hand. I grasped his hand with both of mine, silently willing him to live.

He was struggling to speak; his lips moving soundlessly. A sudden exhalation of breath made me lean forward. “Danny. I – I love you. Should’ve told you. Left it too late,” he whispered weakly.

I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing. Jack loved me? I looked deep into his gaze.

“No,” I said, “don’t talk now. Help’s on its way. Tell me later.”

His lips moved again. His voice was so weak now; I had to put my ear closer to his mouth. “Hey! Dying here. Now or never. Loved you always. Since the beginning.” Jack spluttered and coughed, fresh blood trickling from his mouth.

“No, Jack, you’re not dying. I – I won’t let you. I need to tell you.” I looked around to make sure no-one could hear, but when I turned back, his head had dropped to one side and his eyes were closed. His fingers, that had been gripping my hand, were now lax and I wondered why I’d taken the time to check if we were overheard, instead of just telling him I loved him, too.

I couldn’t believe I’d left it too late.

I’d loved him for what seemed to be forever. Since we first met in the SGC. Okay, I didn’t like him much sometimes, but I’d always loved him. He was unattainable. When we met he’d just lost his son, then, later he’d lost his wife and I’d lost mine. I guess I lost sight of what was important to me for a while, but I held on to the fact that I would never find anyone else to take his place.

I believed he was straight and he just wanted us to be friends. I was content to settle for that, but then … to hear those words. All this time … all those wasted years, because neither of us could tell the other how we felt.

***

Daniel stopped writing. He looked around the room; Jack’s living room. Although, perhaps he should think of it as his living room now. His house. He had given up his apartment and moved all his possessions in here several weeks ago.

Daniel was propped up on a pillow which he’d placed at the end of the couch. He’d pulled his knees up and balanced the journal on his thighs. Now he chewed the end of his pen as he berated himself for not speaking to Jack sooner.

The room was silent. The house was silent.

Daniel’s mind drifted back to that eventful day 10 weeks earlier and recalled the feelings of fear and dread that had gripped his stomach, as they’d waited for the med team.

A loud knocking broke into his reverie. He sighed and got up from the couch to open the door. A courier thrust a package into his hands and, after getting a signature, ran back to his bike parked in the road.

Daniel closed the door and took the package through to the kitchen.

A card was attached. It read:

‘Daniel, we don’t want to intrude, but this is to remind you that we are here for you. If you need us, just call. Sam and Teal’c.’

Daniel peeled back the wrapping and inside found a large box of chocolates and a pack of his favorite rich roast coffee. He smiled. Sam and Teal’c always seemed to know what he needed; the two things that could always put a smile on his face. They were good friends. If it hadn’t been for their help and encouragement during the past ten weeks, he’d have … what was it Jack would say … freaked out!

He put the coffee in the cupboard and the chocolates in the fridge. He’d enjoy those later this evening.

He checked his watch and took the lasagna he’d made the day before, out of the fridge. Then he switched on the stove. He’d had to learn how things worked in the house and where Jack had kept everything. He’d stayed here several times in the past, but he hadn’t really got to know the house, like he had now.

He switched on the coffee machine and stared at the lasagna recalling sadly all the solitary meals he’d eaten here in the last ten weeks.

When the oven was hot enough, he put the lasagna in. He’d fixed the salad earlier and left it in the fridge.

The little red light on the coffee maker went out and the rich aroma wafting through the kitchen told him his favorite beverage was ready.

He’d just returned to the living room and sat back on the couch with a mug of coffee when he heard a noise. A tinkling sound coming from Jack’s bedroom. Daniel’s bedroom now; he’d made it his own since he was living here. He’d got a small amount of comfort knowing he was curled up in Jack’s bed, with Jack’s possessions around him.

He picked up his mug and sauntered through the house to lean against the door frame of the room. He smiled as he looked at the person lying on the bed. The silver hair, chocolate brown eyes, rugged, scarred face with a lopsided grin belonging to the man he loved.

He’d brought Jack home from the hospital earlier that day, but it had been a tremendous effort and Jack had been exhausted by the time they made it into the house. He’d decided to have a rest on the bed and had fallen asleep almost immediately. Daniel had covered him with the comforter.

Apart from his head, the only part of Jack that was visible was one arm outside the cover, the hand of which was holding and shaking a small bell that Daniel had left by the bed.

“You rang, sir?” Daniel asked.

“Yeah. Room service is crap.”

“Perhaps your staff needs a little incentive.”

“Oh, and what might that be?”

“Well, I’m sure we could come to some arrangement.”

“Perhaps you should come over here then.”

Daniel walked over to the edge of the bed and sat down. “So, what have you got in mind?” he asked with a smile.

Jack dropped the bell and reached towards Daniel, then winced. The grin vanished from his face. “Daniel. I … I’m—“

“Jack! No! Please don’t say you’re sorry again. You’ve said it over a hundred times already. I thought we’d agreed not to go over it again.”

“But—“

“No, Jack. I’ve said I’m sorry too. I know we’ve wasted all these years. I’m not blaming you. I’m as much to blame. But we have to put it behind us and stop going on about it.”

“Yeah, but—“

“Ja-ack!”

“DANIEL! Shut up and listen. I wasn’t going to say I was sorry for the past. I was going to say I’m sorry, but could you move please because you’re sitting on my hand.”

“Oh. Oh-h.” Daniel said as he jumped to his feet. He lifted Jack’s arm out from under the comforter and took his hand in both of his; rubbing it to bring some life back into his numb fingers. He sat down again mumbling an apology.

He’d completely forgotten about Jack’s injured arm. He was now recovering from all his wounds, but it would be some time before he was back to full health.

Both his legs had been broken in several places, as was his arm and wrist. He had a very bad concussion and multiple internal injuries. His spleen had ruptured, several ribs had been broken, one of which had punctured his lung on the way back through the gate. It had been touch and go for a few days after they got him back to the infirmary. Specialists had been brought in to operate immediately. When he’d been stabilized he was transferred to a local hospital where they had had the equipment to deal with his injuries and his rehabilitation.

Daniel didn’t leave his side until the worst had been over, then only went home at night to sleep, apart from when he’d moved into Jack’s house.

“Daniel?”

“Mmm. Oh, sorry Jack, where were we?”

“Well, how about sharing your coffee?”

“Oh, yeah, sure.” Daniel picked up the mug and handed it to Jack.

Jack took it but looked puzzled. “Are you okay? You never share your coffee with anyone.”

“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, Jack. Things are going to be different. For both of us.”

“You’re okay with what we agreed? You don’t want to change your mind?

“No! No, I don’t want to change my mind. God, Jack, I’ve waited so long for this. I never in my wildest dreams imagined we’d ever be here, living together.”

“Oka-ay, but you know I can’t … um … do much … er, yanno, in the bedroom. Are you sure you’re okay with that, too?”

Daniel smiled and ran his fingers down Jack’s face. “Of course I’m sure. I love you, Jack, and we’re together. That’s all that matters for now. Everything else can wait.”

“And you’re okay with the work situation?” Jack had had to retire. He was never going to be fit enough to hold down a job; not even in the Pentagon. Daniel had arranged to continue to work for the SGC, on the condition he would never go off world again. Jack would need someone close at hand and Daniel had insisted that it was going to be him. They’d wasted enough time being apart already. He wasn’t prepared to waste any more.

“Yes. I’m all yours, Jack, whether you like it or not.”

“Oh, I like it. I’m just not sure you can handle it. I can be a pain in the ass sometimes, yanno?”

“You? A pain in the ass? Never!” Daniel said with a wry grin on his face.

“Oh, I think I can prove it to you. How about helping me up? I need to take a leak.”

Daniel helped Jack off the bed, handing him his crutches so he could get to the bathroom. He knew better than to offer any more help than that. He’d learned his lesson while Jack was in the hospital. Independent bastard that he was!

Daniel picked up his empty mug and walked back to the kitchen. He got himself a refill, then, checking his watch, got a glass of water and some pain meds and sat at the end of the couch waiting for Jack.

He watched as Jack slowly hobbled his way to the couch. Although his arm had healed, it was still weak, so he had to lean more heavily on the other crutch, which gave him a very lopsided gait.

Jack sank down gratefully on the couch next to Daniel and took the pain meds without any argument.

Daniel turned him so he was propped up against Daniel’s body and then leaned over to help him lift his legs onto the couch.

When he was comfortable, Daniel gently wrapped his arms around Jack’s body and held him close. Jack covered Daniel’s hands with his own and sighed. Daniel felt Jack’s whole body relax.

“So, about that incentive,” Daniel said as he brushed light kisses down the injured side of Jack’s face, although the scarring had nearly disappeared now.

Jack turned his head slightly so Daniel could kiss his lips. Holding hands and kissing were the only things they could do in the hospital. Jack had been in too much pain for hugs, but now, if Daniel was gentle, they could hold each other.

Unlike in the hospital, where anyone could walk in at any time, Jack was now able to deepen the kiss and it was soon getting very hot and very passionate.

“Wow! That’s a great incentive, Jack.” Daniel said when they came up for air.

“Sweet. There’s more where that came from. Although, I think maybe I’ll have to take it one step at a time.”

“Ten weeks. That’s all it’s been, Jack.” Yes, it had been only ten weeks, although some days it had seemed like an eternity to Daniel. “There’s plenty of time ahead and we’ll be taking those steps together.”