Rise and Ride
a Stargate SG-1 story
by dirty diana
beta love to sffan. Lately I have been coming up with first lines for stories and sitting on them for like, ever. This one I came up with months ago. I thought there was going to be porn. I was so, so wrong.
"We can't do this anymore," Daniel says quietly, half a whisper with his eyes falling closed. Jack's hand is underneath Daniel's shirt at the time, tracing the familiar map of his skin, sinews and bone, stretched out over his beating heart.
"I know," Jack answers, but it isn't true. This isn't any different from what he's always known. It isn't any different from years in the field, standing right next to Daniel and missing him like hell.
"We can't." Daniel has said this before, over the phone in strained long-distance calls in the middle of the night, in one-line emails that Jack finds in his inbox in the mornings.
"I know," Jack answers every time, but what he knows is Daniel's frown and the throaty sound of his voice when he comes, when Jack drags him into orgasm, with his hand resting on Daniel's thighs and his mouth full of the salty taste of Daniel's cock.
What Jack knows is that Daniel has always hated doing this halfway. But Jack can't change things, can't fix them, can't make anything other than what it is. Yadda.
Jack listens to Daniel's breathing, slow and even, faster when Jack kisses him and pulls him down underneath the sheets.
"We can't, Jack. I can't take it." Daniel says this half to himself, and Jack doesn't know that they're talking about anything until Daniel gets out of bed.
Jack glances at his bedside clock, then back at Daniel, whose face is pulled tight. "It's two in the morning."
"I'll wait for the first flight," Daniel says, and when Jack looks again he is already dressed.
Jack looks back at the clock, counting forward quickly. He has an eight am briefing in the E ring.
Jack gets out of bed, and sighs.
"How's Carter?" Jack asks. It's pouring rain on his windshield. He's hardly seen snow all winter. He misses it.
Daniel glances over at him, then back at the road. The asphalt is shining wet. "I don't really want to make small talk, Jack."
He hasn't talked to Sam since she left Area 51. He hasn't talked to Teal'c since he stopped by Cheyenne, months ago. He reads the reports, though, and knows they're all doing fine. As fine as can be expected.
He keeps one eye on Daniel as he drives, searching his face for paleness, for lines that weren't there before. All he sees, though, is the shifting yellow glare of the headlights from the oncoming cars.
"I'm sorry about your friend," he says finally.
That gets Daniel's attention, if only for a second before he shrugs. "She wasn't my friend."
"Come on, Daniel."
"She wasn't. I didn't even like her." Daniel pauses, licking his lips. "She was brave, though."
Daniel told Jack that he was scared. Jack doesn't really believe it. Daniel has never been scared, not in the years Jack has known him. He's been frustrated, he'd been angry and tired, but he had never really believed in an enemy that couldn't be beaten, and that's what had had Jack scared for him, all of these years.
"I want you to be careful out there."
"Shit, Jack." Jack can hear it now, a Daniel that isn't scared. "You don't get to do this."
"Yeah?" Jack asks him. His hands clench into fists around the steering wheel. "What am I doing? Tell me what I'm doing, other than driving you to the airport in the middle of the goddamn night?"
"You left, Jack. You moved across the fucking country. You don't get to tell me how to be."
Jack takes a deep breath. He doesn't know what he's done or said in the last year to make Daniel think that he'd rather be here than there. He doesn't know what happened to the other Daniel, the one who fought for everything, the one who never even believed his wife was gone, not until there was nothing else left to believe. But Jack doesn't ask. They're both older now. Jack feels it, every day. That other guy Jack knows he never had a chance with, and so maybe this is better, saying goodbye in the middle of the night on a Maryland highway.
There's an accident in the southbound lane. The traffic is backed up for two exits despite the late hour. Daniel taps his hand impatiently on his knee.
They fall into silence.
"How's Mitchell working out?"
Daniel answers this question with only a slight frown. "He hasn't gotten me hurt yet, if that's what you mean."
That's what Jack means, but he's not going to say so.
"He's a good guy," Daniel adds. "He's doing okay."
Jack is quiet for a while, watching the blinking billboards on the side of the road.
"We could still use you, though," Daniel says, and Jack imagines that each of his thoughts must be printed in bold type, on the signs that they're passing.
Daniel opens his mouth to say something else, and then seems to change his mind.
When they pull up to the terminal entrance the sky is still dark, lit with only the lights of landing planes. "I'll call you," Jack says, watching Daniel fumble with the door handle. "In a couple of days."
Daniel tilts his mouth, shaking his head. "I won't be over it, if that's what you mean."
"I'll call you anyway," Jack tells him.
Jack pauses. He glances into the rear-view mirrors, but there is no one behind him, just an empty taxi. Jack leans forward, grabbing Daniel's face with both his hands. The rough stubble of Daniel's cheeks scrapes his palm. When Jack kisses Daniel, Daniel kisses him back, his lips parting to the pressure of Jack's tongue, his hand snapping upwards to tighten around Jack's wrist and hold him in place.
Jack kisses Daniel hard, and then the glare of headlights light up the bed of his pickup, and he lets go.
Jack sits for a moment, letting Daniel catch his breath. He raises his eyebrows, moving them meaningfully.
A rueful smile crosses Daniel's mouth. "That's not the problem, Jack. It never has been."
"Goddammit," Daniel," Jack mutters, and can't say anything else.
"I have to go." Daniel reaches for the door handle again. Jack watches, as he pulls his small suitcase from the backseat.
Jack swings his truck carefully out of the no parking zone. By the time he checks his rear-view once more, Daniel is gone.