Crossing The Desert

By Annie

EMAIL: Annie

Pairing: Jack/Daniel

Rating: FRAO (NC 17)

Summary: After Reece, Jack wants to bridge the gap but Daniel’s not making it easy.

Episode related: Season 5 Menace


I can see his anger settling over him like a second skin. He's as close to the edge of the bed as he can get without falling off and I give a moment's thought to reaching a hand out and snagging him back before he does just that.

But I don't.

The few inches between us seem as wide as the Sahara, a veritable no man's land and right now, I have no idea how to cross it, how to get him back into my arms.

I sigh loudly, turn to my side so I'm facing his rigid back, then lift up on one elbow and fuss noisily with my pillows. When that doesn't get a reaction, I flop down hard enough onto the mattress to make the water in the glass on the bedside table splatter over the side.

"Do you mind?" he asks, his voice a veritable paean to my ears after almost five hours of silence. Well, silence on his part. For my part, I hadn't shut up since he called me a stupid son of a bitch in the gate room.

"Mind what? That those are the first words you've spoken to me in hours?"

He rolls over so he's glaring into my face from across the desert our bed has become. "I'm trying to sleep," he says pointedly, closing his eyes to prove his point.

I shrug as eloquently as possible, given the fact that he's got his eyes closed and can't read my body language anyway. "I'm just trying to get comfortable," I say.

"Fine. Can you get comfortable a little more quietly?" he asks, not unfairly, I suppose, seeing as how I'd been making as much noise as possible on purpose.

I sigh heavily again and roll onto my back. "She could have killed you, Daniel."

His eyes remain firmly shut but he answers me. "She wouldn't have. I told you. She was shutting them down."

"You don't know that for sure. I had to make a decision to protect the base, Daniel. You know that." I lower my voice and murmur. "I wasn't taking any chances with your safety either. She'd already tried to make you part of the base wall infrastructure."

He opens his eyes and looks at me now, his gaze less heated than it'd been since I shot Reece, the replicators' very own Barbie doll. "She wouldn't have hurt me again. She trusted me."

I snort; not a very adult reaction I know but the situation seems to call for an over the top response; and indicate the pristine white cast on his arm with a nod of my head. "Yeah, I can see that. That's why she broke your arm."

I turn to my side and face him, lifting up on my arm so I can lean toward him. Tentatively, I put out my hand and cup his jaw, brushing my thumb over the softly-bristled skin.

"Daniel." I wait till he's looking into my eyes again. "I'm sorry I couldn't wait. I wanted to. But I had no choice. I couldn't risk the base if she couldn't or wouldn't shut the other replicators down. And I wasn't going to risk your life either. You mean too much to me. You know that. There've been too many close calls before."

He looks at me for a long silent moment and just as I think he's about to turn his back to me again, he reaches out with his plastered arm and whispers, "C'mere, Jack."

I feel all the pent-up tension of the past few hours dissipate in a rush as I move into his arms and let him hold me close.

I move onto my back and he comes with me so his head is resting on my shoulder, his arm lying loosely across my belly. I rub my hand up and down his back and hold him tight for a long time.

When we make love, he claims me with something like desperation and I willingly give myself to him, knowing it's an act of reaffirming my trust in him, of showing him that I do trust him. He comes inside me, murmuring my name as tears track down his face and I kiss them away as my own completion pools between us. Then I pull him down against my chest and hold him tightly till he goes to sleep.

By dawn's light, I look at him, asleep in my arms, and think that if we can get through something like this, nothing will ever separate us again.

The End