by The Grrrl

Title: Weakness

Author: The Grrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@gmail.com

Author's URL: http://thegrrrl2002.slashcity.org/

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate SG-1

Pairing: Jack/Daniel

Summary: Something's got to give. A post–8.4 "Zero Hour" fic.

Notes: Much thanks to my betas, the glorious Kylie Lee and the fabulous Chelle. They rock.

Spoilers: 8.4 "Zero Hour."

The scotch felt good going down, smooth and smoky. It didn't burn. It was just sharp enough to leave behind a warm and flushed sensation, in contrast to the ice-cold panic of the last three days. Another swallow, more warmth, and Jack should have begun to relax by now, but he couldn't. He could only sit on the couch, stare at the wall, and wait.

He didn't get up when he heard the door. He knew who it was, and he knew what he had to do, even though he didn't want to do it—wasn't sure he actually could do it. His body seemed frozen, so he merely sat, waiting for Daniel to come in.

Quiet footsteps, and then Daniel peered into the living room. "Hey, Jack, there you are," he said, in his typical quiet-Daniel voice, a half-smile lingering on his lips, and in spite of everything, it warmed Jack more than the twenty-year-old scotch.

Daniel came in, seating himself right beside Jack, a long, hard thigh pressing against Jack's leg in a way that was purely intentional, and then he was kissing Jack.

"Mmm. Smooth." Daniel licked Jack's lips. "Smoky. Well aged." He smiled, and took the glass from Jack's hand and drank. "A little bit sharp, maybe."

Daniel looked good. Everything about him looked to good to Jack, the way his eyes closed as he drank, a dark fringe of lashes against his cheek, the smooth line of his jaw, the hollow of his throat. Jack knew exactly how it would taste to slide his tongue over Daniel's throat while he swallowed. Warm skin, and Jack had tasted all of it, touched it, luxuriated in it, lost himself in it.

Daniel was his weakness. And he couldn't afford to be weak, not now.

"I hear the president really likes you," Daniel was saying with a smile.

"Of course he did. I made sure there was bunting."

Daniel stared quizzically, and Jack loved it, loved the wrinkles between Daniel's eyebrows, the pursed lips as he tried to figure out what the hell Jack was talking about. "Oh," Daniel finally said, nodding solemnly. "Bunting. Of course."

Jack took the glass from Daniel's hand and swallowed the last of the scotch. May as well cut to the chase. "I can't do this," he announced, setting the glass on the coffee table. Releasing the fear—putting it into words and setting it free—left him feeling startlingly relieved.

"Of course you can, Jack." Daniel patted Jack's thigh. "It's just a matter of settling into the position. The president believes in you, Hammond believes in you, they wouldn't have—"

"Us," Jack interrupted, stilling Daniel's hand. "I can't do this, do my job and," he raised his hand, waving it between the two of them, "do you, too." His throat tightened and his voice faded to a dull rasp. He wanted to go on, to explain to Daniel that Hammond had big shiny shoes, and there was no way could he possibly fill them, not when his own feet were tucked around Daniel's waist. His voice failed him; his throat was too tight to speak. All he could think of was the smell of Daniel's skin and the warmth of his body and that he couldn't live without it, but he couldn't quite see how General O'Neill could live with it, and there was no way out.

He wondered when his life had gotten so damn complicated.

Stunned, Daniel's mouth opened, then closed. "Jack?" he finally asked, his voice rising.

"Damn it, Daniel, I thought I lost you," Jack finally managed. "I thought I lost all of you to Ba'al." His team, his people—but now, all of them were his people. It wasn't just SG-1 anymore. It was everyone. But everything else from the day paled in comparison to the sight of Ba'al's image in the Gate room. It was a punch in the gut to see his tormentor again, even though he had thought he had gotten past it, but how do you ever get past dying over and over again? He wished Daniel had never come back, that Daniel was still ascended and glowy because then at least he'd be safe from monsters like Ba'al. "I couldn't think straight and I had to. But I didn't know what the hell to do."

"But—but Jack—" The stunned expression at last gave way to fear. Jack realized he couldn't remember the last time that he had seen Daniel looking so absolutely, genuinely scared.

"I resigned. I wrote a letter to Hammond and told him I resigned. Only I didn't send it." Jack sat back, hands clasped, trying to steady them. Sweat prickled in his armpits and he had no freaking idea whether he was doing the right thing or not. Daniel was sitting perfectly still, but Jack knew his mind was racing. He had to know what Daniel was thinking, whether Daniel thought he was totally off his rocker or if Daniel could possibly understand what he was trying to say, even though Jack himself wasn't sure what it was, either. "This is the part where you start talking really fast," Jack suggested.

"Jack, you can't," Daniel started, then closed his eyes.

Jack knew that Daniel was gathering his thoughts. Jack knew his every move, every gesture, better than he knew himself.

Daniel's eyes opened. "Okay, listen Jack. Are you trying to tell me that being in love with me is a problem? Because you love all of us. You care too much for Sam, and Teal'c too. You've said so yourself. It's not just me, you know."

It wasn't the same, and Daniel knew it. Maybe Daniel was just warming up. "Daniel," he said, but Daniel held a hand up, stopping him.

"Ah—I'm not finished. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you think that sex is the problem? Touching each other? So we stop touching. Can we still sit in the same room together, like this? Can we sit next to each other? Where do we draw the line? We stop spending time together outside of work? Do we stop being friends completely?"

Jack felt what might be flutter of joy in his stomach, because Daniel was fighting him, and Daniel always fought for what he thought was right. He wouldn't let Jack make a colossal mistake. "Maybe that's what it takes," Jack said, struggling to inflect his voice with some measure of conviction.

Daniel's hands flew, gesturing toward Jack, bolder now. "Even if we did all that, would you stop loving me? Could your feelings for me change that easily? Can you turn it off like a switch? Because I can't. And I won't." He glared at Jack, with that obstinate tilt of his head, the one that said he was right and Jack was so very wrong.

Jack wanted to be wrong. "I don't know. So what am I supposed to do, retire? Is that my only option?"

"Since when is it an either/or situation? You do what you're already doing. You do the general thing, and you do me." Daniel shrugged, as if his answer was obvious. "You're pretty damn good at both."

It didn't feel like he was doing it well. It felt as though in one day everything had spiraled out of control, as if he'd lost everything that ever mattered to him. All of his nightmares had come back to haunt him at once and he thought that he had lost Daniel forever, and maybe that was scarier than Ba'al killing him over and over again.

Daniel, watching him, must have seen something in face, because he reached out and touched his fingertips to Jack's cheek. "This is what makes us strong. It's what always made us different from the Goa'uld. Better than them." His eyes were bright as his hand moved to cup the back of Jack's neck. Fingers caressed Jack's skin, and then Daniel leaned in and pressed his lips to Jack's mouth. "I can't do this without you, you know that," he added softly. "We all need you."

Daniel trusted him, with a certainty that was sometimes frightening. Despite all their disagreements, Daniel trusted him to do the right thing, to make the right decision. Jack slowly rubbed his cheek against Daniel's face, resigned, yet strangely pleased. He wasn't sure if his choices had been taken away from him, or he hadn't been ready to let go of his relationship with Daniel. He needed Daniel, and Daniel needed him. Their lives here hopelessly entangled, and yet the SGC needed him, however much he struggled to do his job right. Somewhere along the line, he had given something up. Maybe his ability to control his own destiny had slipped away, and yet it was worth it to be able to taste Daniel's lips and to feel Daniel's heart beating.

He wasn't the only one who needed. Daniel was crawling over him, almost in his lap even though he didn't fit, all elbows and knees as he nuzzled Jack's neck. His fingers curled around Jack's shoulders, a slight hitch in his breath the only sign of his desperation and fear, but Jack knew it all too well. "Tell me you can let this go," Daniel demanded.

Jack couldn't. He took Daniel's head in his hands and stared at him, all that fear and anger mixed with stubbornness, and then kissed him hard, crushing lips against teeth before tasting Daniel's mouth. Of course Daniel was right. He could never let Daniel go. His heart couldn't change, not now, not ever.

When he finished, Daniel gave him a long look, blue eyes still wide with a hint of lingering panic and anger before scrambling off of Jack and onto his feet. Tugging Jack off the couch, he said, "Come on, let's—" He pointed toward Jack's bedroom. "Okay?"

Jack followed him willingly, almost helplessly, Daniel keeping an eye on him with quick sideways glances, his grip firm on Jack's wrist. When they reached the bedroom, Jack yanked Daniel close and pulled his shirt off, exposing that broad chest, and only then did the last of the fear finally leave Daniel's face. By the time they were both undressed, Daniel's expression changed to something darker, more intent. He climbed over Jack, straddling him. So beautifully naked, pale skin glowing in the dimly lit room, a hard, full cock resting on Jack's stomach and he was everything Jack had ever wanted.

Daniel smoothed his palms over Jack's chest, head bowed, and when he spoke his voice was low and urgent. "Jack, you have to understand—it's hard going through the Gate without you, but knowing you're there, at the SGC, backing us up—I need that." His fingers pressed into Jack's skin. "Just like I need to know I can come home and do this. Touch you."

Daniel's weakness, Jack realized. He was Daniel's weakness, but somehow, to Daniel, he was Daniel's strength. He wasn't sure how that worked; maybe his strength was Daniel and hell, everything he'd done as general had worked out in the end, right?

Jack put his hands over Daniel's, then stroked up Daniel's strong, powerful arms, admiring his biceps. "And we all know how cranky you can be when you aren't getting laid." It was hard to work up the right teasing note for his voice, but he had to tell Daniel he was sorry.

Daniel's furious kisses indicated that he was on the right track. "Speak for yourself," he said. "Last thing any of us needs is the head of the SGC being all bitchy."

This was better, much better, the way it was supposed to be between them. Jack's hands moved over the curve of Daniel's thighs. "I so do not get bitchy." He gasped as Daniel's mouth closed over his nipple, and his cock surged when Daniel bit down, not exactly gently.

"Bitchier than when Carter has PMS." Daniel's breath chilled Jack's wet skin.

"Am not," Jack murmured, distracted by the way Daniel's ass was sliding over his cock, and Daniel knew it. The warm smile returned, a shift in mood that was like the sun rising and Jack basked in it.

With a wave of his hand, Daniel motioned at the bedside table. Jack located the lube, handing it to Daniel, who in turn squeezed a generous amount onto Jack's fingers. "Anyway, you know this is the right thing to do. We've got to make sure you are relaxed and well-rested, to keep you in your top decision-making form."

"And I what point do I get to actually make a decision?" Jack asked, only half in jest as Daniel's cool, wet hand slicked his cock. It felt good, too good to be thinking about his place in the universe and whether what he was doing was the right thing, because damn it, lying in his bed with Daniel over him felt right and good. Especially when Daniel rose up on his knees, and Jack was able to reach between his legs to slide a hand between Daniel's cheeks and then press a finger up inside of him, to where it was hot and tight, and that was right, too.

"Oh, god," Daniel sighed, eyes closed with pleasure. "Damn it, Jack, you scared the crap out of me, so I get to have what I want now, right now."

"Hey—you want to talk scared—" But Daniel obviously didn't want to talk about being scared, because he was lowering himself onto Jack's cock. "Wait, Daniel, just second here," Jack said quietly, touching himself, making certain there was enough lubrication.

"No, yes, okay, like that." Babbling. Daniel was babbling nonsense, and there was something unbearably erotic about it, about the way he blinked and looked confused, as if the disconnect between his mouth and his brain was something completely astonishing. Jack always felt a rush a pleasure in the way he could make Daniel lose his words completely.

The pleasure intensified as Daniel's body surrounded him. Intense, hot and breathtakingly sweet, Jack's senses were overwhelmed but that was just the way he wanted it. He couldn't imagine ever being without this, didn't know how he had ever contemplated it. "Oh, god, Daniel—"

He pushed up with his hips, knees bent, feet planted firmly on the bed. Daniel braced his body, hands on Jack's chest, rocking and Jack wrapped his slick hand around Daniel's cock. Daniel moaned, low and guttural, making Jack's cock surge. The expression on Daniel's face was of pure ecstasy, and Jack gave it all to him, pumping Daniel's cock, thrusting up sharply. Daniel let go and soared with it, so Jack did too. And when it was all over, Jack's heart was pounding, and yet his mind felt clear. He felt like he had finally found himself again.

He smiled at the way Daniel just stayed in place, his heavy body on Jack's hips, pushing him into the mattress. It was as if Daniel wanted it to last forever, the way he lingered with his eyes closed, mouth open and gasping, skin shiny with sweat. Jack smiled because he still got to see this, because he hadn't screwed this up completely.

Jack tugged Daniel down onto his chest, holding him tight. "Thank you, Daniel."

A huff of laughter against his neck. "Oh no, thank you, Jack." He nipped at Jack's skin, then lifted his head. "Since when do we thank each other after sex? Is this some sort of new military protocol? Next time, I want bunting."

"Stop it," Jack said, although he was pleased that Daniel was still being so Daniel with him. He nudged Daniel with his knee. "You know what I mean. I'm sorry. It just—it felt like something had to give."

Daniel nodded, his expression suddenly serious. He slid off of Jack, curling against his side, head propped up on an elbow. "Tell me about it?" he asked, a hand resting on the center of Jack's chest.

And Jack told him.

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