Daniel's been through it all. All the emotions, all the steps. Starts with anger and rage. Then feeling powerless and the inability to say no. Next comes shame and the self-blame and after that, the rage grows deeper. After that comes the despair. That's when hope dies. There used to be hope. But that was four months ago. It disappeared from conscious thought and is now mixed with his fears only when he sleeps.
He thinks he hears Jack's voice in the central receiving chamber and resignedly believes his auditory hallucinations are returning, likely caused by some leftover hope. He had the delusions back at the beginning, just before hope retreated, but they abandoned him as easily as everyone else had in his life. What he thinks he hears now... must be a soundalike.
The Master's voice sends the Second into Daniel's waiting room. The blindman's hood is pushed onto his head and the collar clasped tightly around it. He has only a round hole in front of his nose to breath. Yanking him to his feet, the Second rips off Daniel's leather thong and turns away. Daniel knows to follow and shuffles along. It's difficult but he's become used to the shackles, their weight now part of him, extensions of his wrists and ankles, and the wide metal belt that joins them.
He's also gotten used to being raped. But the one thing he's never gotten used to is being the rapist. After eight months, he still resists, still fights. The thing is, he's beaten. So what he does is a performance on the outside, while his conscious thought goes numb. Deep inside, he weeps.
The Master knows it and likes it that way. Daniel knows that if he really tried to fight, he'd fail, so he takes his smaller victories again. He's alive. Someday, he'll be free and he'll kill every motherfucking one of them. In the meantime, he copes.
Aside from going numb and pretending to be the thing he hates most, the other thing he's learned to do very well is to tune out the sounds. The cheers, the shouts... and the sounds he himself makes. It's out of habit, out of necessity. Shame can make you do anything to avoid it.
He feels the Second's hands on his cock and knows he's being prepared to rape someone. His mind starts to go numb and he prepares himself for what needs to be done and said. It doesn't matter who the victim is. They're all the same. Someone displeased or disobeyed the Master.
Daniel is shoved to his knees and he reaches out, knowing he'll find someone on all fours in front of him. He hesitates, knowing it's the right thing to do and hears his Master laugh when he's pushed to bend over. Again he hesitates, his ass is whipped to encourage him to position and thrust. Grabbing hold of the man's shoulders, he does as he's told and pushes his cock into the ass of a male victim.
He can tell it's a man... after so many. He tries to be as gentle as he can be allowed and whispers to his 'partner' through the leather over his mouth that he's sorry--and says it each and every time he thrusts.
Daniel stops whispering when his partner whispers back. It throws him, confuses him and he nearly stops... but doesn't. It's better he do this than the Second. Why his partner is telling him it's okay is confusing. "Just do it, get it over with," he says, and in the background, Daniel hears the Master laughing and clapping and making lewd, insulting remarks while his guests echo his tastes. Daniel tunes him out when he remembers to and tries to focus, for once, solely on his partner.
"Bear down and pretend this won't hurt," he whispers, then does what he can to make it better. He's learned from experience that even a rape can be lessened, that someone brought to him for 'punishment' can learn fairly quickly how to lessen the pain and how to 'secretly' take pleasure from the wrongful act.
It's a dark trade-off--relinquishing will and surrendering to rape, all so the Master doesn't have all the power. Daniel takes what he can get and he quickly makes his partners--most of them anyway--take it, too. It's better for the Master to gloat, thinking he's won, than giving in completely. Daniel may go numb, and he may cope and appear to give in, but deep inside where he doesn't yet risk hope, he waits.
While he waits, he does what he has to. And this one's doing as Daniel asked. He can feel his partner clutching with pleasure around his cock while his words demand that he stop. All the while, Daniel just barely hears the clapping from the Master and he wonders if the evening entertainment is only just the one. He doesn't dare hope it is.
Even with just the one victim, Daniel knows what's expected and how long he's to make it last. The Master wants anger, shame, and pain. To see someone suffer as they're raped. It won't cause pain for Daniel because he wears a thin condom-like sheath over his dick, but it will eventually cause the victim to suffer... and that's what the Master wants.
After ten minutes, Daniel feels the lube on his sheath getting thin and the muscles of his victim's ass begin to seize up a little from the burning friction. "Push," he whispers. "Hard."
He hears his partner cuss and scream, knowing it's only partly an act. It's when the ultra-dark moment appears, the one Daniel dreads. The one he's been fighting for the last month, one he can feel slowly building up inside him. When he'll stop whispering and he'll want the cussing and screaming to be real.
He knows he's slowly being turned into his Master's pet, that perhaps after another year of this, he will be the one who gets off on rape, on the pain and suffering he'll cause. When he'll merely be summoned, without the chains. He knows he'll learn to love this because it's all he'll know. The mind will adapt.
Daniel hates that fact with every fiber of his being, so when he feels himself lose control, he fights it and looks for the sound from his victim that will make his mind snap out of it.
With this man, he gets it. A moan. It's a change in behavior and what follows is a threat and a dare in one sentence: "Fuck me harder, if you can, you stupid whore!"
Daniel can't help it; he nearly comes from the words. A reminder of his past when he liked rough sex and dirty talk. He thanks the universe for those preferences because they've made him better able to adapt to this hideous existence. To grab for every scrap of pleasure he can find--so that what he does isn't that hideous. He knows it's selfish, but how else will he survive without becoming a monster?
There's clapping and cheering and Daniel feels his partner coming, the tight grip around his cock making him hiss. He refuses to come and his Master knows. It gets him a whip across his ass that forces him to start over. He fucks his partner fast and hard, telling himself to come, and he's learned to do it automatically, like a porn star back in the world.
He spills and jerks and puts on a show, one that fools his Master into believing he came unwillingly. He really didn't; he can control it now.
He hates what he's become, what he will become. Hates it even more when he withdraws and the Second comes over. He flinches, readying himself for the inevitable rape.
It's different this time. His hood is pulled off as the Second thrusts into him, fucking him with his usual brutal thoroughness, and on the floor in front of him, staring at him, is Jack. There's a pain that rips through him that has nothing to do with what's happening. Jack's face is impassive and Daniel's seen that look before. On others. The look of a buyer.
Daniel closes his eyes and the Master barks an order. The whip comes down and Daniel's eyes fly open. He's forced to watch as Jack watches him get raped. His humiliation is now complete, on both sides... except that Jack now has a look he's seen only on his friend's face. The look that tells Daniel to hang on.
It's then that Daniel understands. He's free. But he has to endure one more rape. Just one more rape. Just. one. more. rape. The Second is extra hard on him this time. The short whip is rained down on his back as he's fucked and the pain makes Daniel silent with rage. He knows he's breaking the rules. He's supposed to make the sounds, to wail and protest and fight.
He blacks out when the real punishment comes.
When he awakens, it's much later, and he finds himself in the back of some horse-drawn cart. Jack's at the reins, his back to him, dressed in the local fashion. When Daniel moves, pain shoots through him but not as much as he'd expected. His skin, muscles and ass burn, but he doesn't feel any broken ribs from the punches. He feels warm for the first time since his kidnapping and realizes he's clothed.
"Are they dead?" is the first thing he thinks to ask.
"It's on the agenda."
Daniel thinks about that for a moment. He wants to say it's his job but he knows his body isn't up to it. Instead, he asks, "Did you enjoy yourself?"
He knows it's mean. He knows he's pushing Jack away, to make him angry. To stop him from worrying. It doesn't work because Jack turns and tosses Daniel a skin of water.
"Does it matter?"
Jack opens his mouth to say something, but doesn't, then shakes his head and remains silent as Daniel drinks.
He hates himself. He wants to say something to Jack, to apologize for being an asshole. He wants to ask more questions, explain himself, apologize also for being weak. But too many emotions are beginning to fill him and he wants to shut them off, keep them at bay. There's too much input so instead, he pulls up the blanket that's been provided and hides.
"You've done nothing wrong," Jack says sometime later, and Daniel wonders if it's been seconds, minutes or hours. Doesn't matter. He doesn't answer.
When the cart comes to a stop, he looks out from beneath the blanket and Jack's there, beside him.
It's then that the blows come. He's swinging wildly, hitting Jack, himself, screaming and cursing and crying, kicking at Jack, at the cart--and he's certain he's just broken his ankle doing that. But the pain is like a buffer and a salve. Jack's rocking him, telling him things will be okay.
"No, they won't," he chokes. "This isn't something to be kissed and made better. There is no getting over it. Ever."
"I know," Jack says gruffly and in his eyes, Daniel sees recognition. "I could say all the usual shit about how this will get better, but I won't. Instead, I want you to know that no matter what, I'll never leave you."
"Except... you... did."
"It was that or get shot in the head. I preferred to take the chance to live and come find you. And I did, Daniel. I wouldn't give up. You did the same for me once, remember?"
Daniel swallows, hating the tears of anger and regret that clog his throat. "I remember." After a moment of guilt and shame and the inevitable feeling of relief, he adds, "I'm sorry."
"For what?" Jack asks, aghast.
"For being mad at you."
"Do you really think I believe for a minute you're mad at me?"
Daniel finds a hint of a smile. "Guess not." When he finds Jack staring at him, he frowns and turns his head away. "Stop looking at me like that."
Jack turns his face to him and Daniel tries to pull away but both hands are framing his jaw and he can't. "It's not what you think. I missed you so badly, Daniel. I had nightmares about finding you in worse shape than I did. I just can't believe that I finally got you back."
Daniel swallows, then coughs for taking it down the wrong pipe. "I don't think you envisioned what you found, or what you had to do to get me free," he says hoarsely.
"I envisioned worse, actually. Been there, done that."
Grimly, Daniel nods. "I know. Jack?"
"I quit. I'm not going back."
"That's cool. Neither am I."
Surprised, Daniel narrows his eyes, studying the man. "So what do we do then?"
"Tell the universe to go fuck itself, that's what."
Daniel snorts. "Sounds like a plan."
There's the sound of movement and they both look up to see the rest of SG-1 and two other teams approaching. Daniel sees their unhappy looks of surprise and it's then that he knows what's really happened. He stares at Jack in awe.
"You stupid sonofabitch. You did this by yourself, didn't you?"
Jack gives him a wan look. "Guilty, your honor."
Daniel shakes his head and gives the approaching mob a look of disdain. Returning dark, intense eyes to Jack, he says, "I wish I'd fucked you a long time ago. That way the rape would've been easier."
"No, it wouldn't. It just would have hurt less."
Daniel winces and Jack suddenly hugs him in front of everyone and Daniel blinks in shock when Jack pulls back.
"Sir?" Sam says but Jack ignores her.
"What?" Daniel asks him.
With a straight face, Jack says, "Every relationship has its ups and downs, Daniel."
Daniel's mouth drops open and then he laughs. It's harsh and more than a little hysterical. "You're insane."
"Then we make a good match, don't we?" Jack smirks.
Daniel shakes his head disbelievingly, but something inside breaks free. He thinks maybe that something is hope.
Around them, they can hear the whispers and the questions from Teal'c and Sam and someone that sounds like Colonel Reynolds, but neither one of them gives a shit because from now on, duty can go fuck itself.
However, Jack's got some things to do first. "We first head back, get you situated--"
"No. We go back there. Now."
"I'll stay in the cart or Teal'c can toss me over his shoulder, I don't care. I'm not leaving yet."
Turning to look at Sam and Teal'c, Jack says, "We're not leaving yet."
Then Daniel looks at his teammates before they can argue and says, "If you don't mind, I've got a bit of a mess I need to clean up."