Warm and Safe and Dry

BY: Delilah

EMAIL: delilah_miranda@yahoo.com

RATING: M

CATEGORY: Slash, Established relationship.

PAIRING: J/D.

 

"You're just snarky because I wouldn't let you ramble on PSR-065."

"That's PS5-06R, Jack." In the farthest reaches of his peripheral vision, Daniel could see Jack's lips moving in silent mockery as he repeated the correct address. "And I wasn't rambling. Providing you with *information* isn't rambling."

As Danny Jackson he loved Jack O'Neill, he truly did. But sometimes dealing with a colonel whose mental age could go from forty-five to twelve in three seconds flat strained Dr. Daniel Jackson, he-of-two-PhDs, past his limits.

"*Unnecessary* information," categorized Jack as he leaned in closer to the steering wheel, trying to make out the winding road leading down the mountain in the Christmas Eve blizzard that the weather channel had been blasting warnings about for two days. The very reason Jack had wanted to get off PS-whatever and back through the Gate as quickly as possible. It wasn't that he minded the idea of
being snowed in at Christmas. He just wanted to make sure they were imprisoned comfortably at home and not stuck under twenty-some identically gray levels in Cheyenne Mountain.

He took his eyes off the road long enough to see Daniel's forehead furrow. "How can information be unnecessary? I was just trying to tell you—"

"—nothing that had any bearing on our conversation with Plomeek Tarantula."

Daniel lowered his current mental-age estimation of the man steering them off the mountain down to eight.

"*Plohmehn Tatarnus.* And, explain to me how you can't remember one, single Gate address but you remember the name of Mr. Spock's favorite soup?"

Jack raised a Teal'cian eyebrow. "I wanted to get home. We'd done the `Hi, I'm Daniel' and the `peaceful explorer' bit. We'd been invited back for a better look around when they dried out from the monsoon. We'd fulfilled all the first contact parameters."

"That didn't mean we couldn't stick around long enough to, perhaps, *learn* something."

"For crying out loud, Danny. It's Christmas Eve."

Daniel slid in the seat as Jack took a snow-covered corner a little too sharply. He pushed himself back off the dash. "So?"

"So?" repeated Jack.

"Maybe you've failed to notice, Jack, but I don't really celebrate Christmas."

"Sure you do. You exchange gifts. I mean they're always wrapped a little weirdly, but it's the thought that counts."

"Maybe that's because what I'm actually celebrating is Saturnalia or Zagmuck."

Jack drew out the syllables. "Zaaggmuuck?"

"Yes, Zagmuck. It was the ancient celebration of Marduk's annual victory over the underworld. If you think about it, it's just as appropriate a celebration. Christmas as defined in the modern Christian sense—"

"But *Zagmuck*?" interrupted Jack, still obviously stuck.

Daniel glared at him. "Face it, Jack. All the gods I've ever met have been Goa'ulds."

"Daniel," Jack slipped into his best stern-colonel voice, "if you're going to somehow warp this into saying Santa is a Goa'uld I'm stopping the car and putting you out right here."

"Well, in all probability …"

The jeep bucked to a halt.

"Santa," Jack enunciated precisely, "is not a Goa'uld."

"No, of course not." Daniel shrugged. "'Santa' is just a modern construct of the Archbishop of Myra and Woden. But Woden, himself, could easily be Goa'uld."

"Who's Woden?"

"Woden. The leader of the `raging rout' -- which if you read the accounts, could easily have been a Goa'uld invasion party. Slain warriors who turn up again to fight again by his side. Can you say `sarcophagus'?"

"Wait, I remember this stuff. Woden is Odin. And Odin is definitely no Goa'uld."

"If Woden *was* Odin. There's no written records, but somewhere between the Norse and the Germans, in becoming Odin, Woden changed. He became wise and less violent. More a sharp-eyed watcher than a warrior. I think we're talking two different gods."

Jack buried his face in his glove-sheathed hands.

"What?" Daniel asked, tearing himself away from his new mental toy. When Jack raised his head to stare bleakly out into the snow-swirled darkness, Daniel laid a hand on the solid shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"I just want to go home. I want to go home and light a fire and decorate the tree. I want to spike the hot chocolate and turn down the lights and make out on the sofa."

"Okay …"

"I don't want to know about ancient gods who turned into Santa, who just might have been Goa'ulds or Asgards." Dark brown eyes met his desperately. "Do you understand?"

He didn't really, but he'd never seen Jack so … sincerely upset over nothing.

Jack turned to look out the side window. When he spoke again his voice was low and controlled. "It’s Christmas. For the rest of this night you will not bring up any reminders that I probably don't know enough to keep you and Sam and Teal'c safe from these guys."

"Jack, I wasn't—"

"Fireplace. Spiked cocoa. Bare Daniel feet in my lap. These are all the things I care about tonight."

Daniel blinked and said the only thing he could. "Okay."

Jack put the jeep back into drive. Daniel gazed at his profile in the dim light.

"That's it."

"Hmm?" murmured Daniel, still lost in his own thoughts.

"That's all I ever care about. You care about all this," his hands left the steering wheel for a moment to gesture helplessly, "… contemplating stuff. But with me it's just the basics – warm and safe and dry." Jack turned to steal a quick glance at Daniel. "Warm and safe and dry can be a hell of a lot."

After a minute, Daniel nodded. "Yes, it can."

"Well, that and bare feet," added Jack, slyly.

Daniel leaned over and planted a gentle kiss on the skin of Jack's temple. "Everything else is unnecessary."

Jack smiled, the lights of Colorado Springs were twinkling into sight. "Youbetcha."


~end~

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