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[personal profile] badfalcon posting in [community profile] jd_ficathon
Title: Through Another’s Eyes
Author: [personal profile] badfalcon
Summary: A misunderstanding on Mitchell’s part makes Jack reassess his relationship with Daniel
Word Count: 3421
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: All recognisable elements of the Stargate universe are so very not mine, and remain the property of the respective copyright holders. This story is written purely for entertainment purposes and no money is being made out of it.
Written For: [personal profile] elaiel
Prompt: Requirement (#1): Obliviousness to the other person’s interest.
Requirement (#2): Happy ending
Optional Request: Cuddles
Restriction (#1): No Sam bashing
Restriction (#2): No Mpreg
Notes: Huge thanks to [personal profile] ravensword and [personal profile] charlies_dragon for the beta



Jack O’Neill swung his truck into the parking lot of the all-you-can-eat buffet and killed the engine. He rested both hands on the top of the steering wheel and grinned ruefully at the brick wall in front of him. Another Daniel related near disaster and once again they ended up here. He wondered if Carter, Teal’c or Daniel even realised that they always came here after every... incident. He kinda hoped not – he actually really liked the food and, although he’d never admit it, he associated the place with Daniel being given the all clear and released from the infirmary. He remembered the first time they came here, after the mission to P3X-797 once they were all feeling more like themselves and less like cavemen. It had taken Teal'c a bit to understand the concept, with Daniel explaining it patiently as they walked along the displays of food, but then he had most definitely eaten all he could for his ten bucks – hell he was surprised they were allowed back, the amount the Jaffa had eaten.

But here they were, once again. One more crisis mostly-averted and Daniel was back to himself after being turned into a damn Prior. That archaeologist was going to be the death of him, he was sure. If he wasn’t already grey… He scrubbed a hand over the back of his neck and climbed out of the truck, making his way to the entrance where he could see most of SG1 waiting for him.

“Carter, Mitchell.” He greeted, nodding slightly at the ‘Sir’s’ he got in return. “Coffee?” He asked Daniel hopefully, as he eyed the takeout cup in Daniel’s hand.

“Coffee,” Daniel confirmed and rolled his eyes when Jack snatched the cup from him to take a quick slug.

“Ahhh coffee.” Feeling eyes on him, Jack turned slightly to find Mitchell watching him with an expression of puzzle and bemusement.

“I’m sure they have coffee inside, Sir.” Mitchell said, straight-faced but there was something in his tone that made one of Jack’s eyebrows raise A shrug of one of his shoulders was his reply to Jack’s look.

“But we’re not inside.” Jack replied simply and took another sip of coffee.

“The coffee in there isn’t the same as Daniel’s coffee,” Sam explained and laughed at Jack’s “thank you Carter,” as he handed Daniel his coffee back.

“Thanks.” Daniel wrapped his hands protectively around his cup and leaned back against the wall

Jack smirked at Daniel’s sarcastic reply before he sobered up and ran an assessing eye over him. “You sure you’re OK?”

“I’m fine, Jack.” Daniel promised, but Jack could hear the weariness in his voice. “I already told you, Merlin protected me from the worst of the Ori. Dr Lam says I’m OK, perfectly normal and kicked me out of the infirmary. You were there, remember? And you took me home.”

“OK, just making sure.” Jack nodded as he moved to stand against the wall next to Daniel, their shoulders touching. Jack bent one of his knees and rested his foot against the wall. “Any particular reason we’re all standing out here instead of in there?”

“We’re waiting for Teal’c, Sir.”

Jack mimed looking at his watch. “Not like T to be late.”

“He’s bringing Vala with him.”

Again, Jack could feel Mitchell watching him but ignored it and looked out over the parking lot instead. “Ah. That would explain it.”

“Indeed,” Daniel chuckled, and Jack swatted his arm.

A few minutes later, a dark sedan pulled up in front the restaurant and a young airman scrambled out and saluted to Jack, Carter and Mitchell. Jack told him to relax and he nodded, then explained that he’d brought their two guests. Teal’c and Vala climbed out of the car as he spoke.

“Daniel!” Vala skipped straight to Daniel’s side and grabbed one of his arms between her hands. A wide beam spread across her face and Jack felt Daniel tense next to him. He shot her a look which she completely ignored and instead babbled excitedly about more new Earth experiences Daniel could show her.

“We’ll make sure they get back to base safely,” Mitchell told the airman, dismissing him.

“And by saying ‘we’,” Jack clarified, “you do realise you’ve just volunteered yourself for that duty.”

Mitchell nodded. “Yes sir.”

“Great so now that we’re all here,” Jack stepped forward away from the wall and rubbed his hands together. “Let’s eat!”

“Indeed. It has been too long since we all ate here,” Teal’c agreed. He and Carter lead their group through the doors; Vala behind them was waxing lyrically about how lovely the airman who had driven them here was. Daniel shook his head in amusement, and followed Vala and Jack made sure he was behind Daniel. He held the door open with one hand, the other rested lightly on Daniel’s lower back. Mitchell brought up the rear and Jack could feel his gaze burning between his shoulders. What was his problem tonight?

“So you really can eat anything? And as much of it as you want?”

Carter nodded. “As long as it’s on the menu,” she confirmed with a laugh. “Yes. And yes, you can just eat ice-cream if you really wanted to. Come on, we should grab some food before Teal’c and General O’Neill eat it all!”

Vala laughed and the two women grabbed plates and started filling them. Mitchell was barely a step behind them and grabbed his own tray. Jack found himself following Daniel and Teal’c, and ignored the look Daniel gave him when he filled his plate with fried chicken and mac & cheese. He raised his eyebrows at Daniel in silent query. Daniel shook his head and pointedly selected pot roast and vegetables. He re-joined his team back at what had become ‘their’ table. It took a little moving around to accommodate Vala and Mitchell but they quickly got themselves seated.

“I remember the first time we came here,” Daniel looked around the table. “It was after our mission to P3X-797.”

“The land of the light,” Sam nodded. “I don’t think I’m ever going to forget turning into one of those savages.” A shudder ran through her and she took a drink. “Or how much Teal’c ate!”

Mitchell looked between Carter and Teal’c and eyed the pile of food on the Jaffa’s plate. “Yeah, I’ve seen him put away a whole lot of food. This must be food heaven for you!”

“Indeed,” Teal’c agreed before starting on a chicken wing.

The conversation died down somewhat as they all concentrated on their meals, coming and going from the table as they fetched more food. There was a relaxed vibe around their group, a pleasant murmur of talk and Jack felt himself finally start to unwind. The good food definitely helped too. He stole the last cup of jello off Daniel's tray and laughed as he fended off Daniel's attempts to stab his hand with a fork

“DanielJackson, why do you fight O’Neill’s attempts to steal the jello from you when in fact you collected it for him to eat?”

“It’s the principle,” Daniel protested, at the same time as Jack declared that it was fun.

Jack ate the jello slowly and stared at Daniel with a smug look on his face. Daniel laughed and shook his head. Jack grinned triumphantly, dropped the empty cup back on Daniel’s tray and picked his beer up. He leaned back in his chair and let the buzz of conversation wash over him; Carter, Daniel and Teal’c reminisced over past missions, Mitchell’s delight to hear about them first hand rather than just reading them and Vala’s cheeky comments made him roll his eyes. He’d missed this, he’d missed his team and their easy camaraderie.

“Jack?” A nudge to his elbow and Jack turned slightly to look at Daniel. The tone of his voice asked if he was ok.

“Daniel,” he replied simply, one eyebrow raised – I’m fine, he projected without words, just enjoying the company and Daniel nodded, satisfied. “OK,” he said to the table.” But I notice how no-one’s mentioned that time Carter got drunk and danced for the village elders while taking off…”

“No!” Carter cried out, reaching out for Jack but stopped herself before she grabbed his arm. “Why did you have to bring that up?” She sighed dramatically, then grinned cheekily. “But at least neither Teal’c or I ever managed to get accidentally married, unlike a certain General or archaeologist I could mention.”

“It was cake,” Jack protested. “How was I supposed to know it was marriage cake?”

“Lots of cultures involve food with their nuptials,” Vala mused around a spoon of ice-cream. “I suppose it’s the whole connection to providing and sustaining life.”

Daniel nodded. “Actually yes. In fact…”

“Aht!” Jack cut Daniel off, one finger raised.

Daniel’s brows drew together in a frown. “But you don’t...”

“Yes I do.”

“That was your spiel voice,” Carter nodded.

“Sorry Jackson but I gotta agree.”

“Indeed.”

“Was not,” Daniel muttered, his cheeks flushed lightly from the gentle teasing.

“Was too,” Jack retorted and slid a plate of apple pie and vanilla ice-cream in front of him.

Daniel’s eyes widened. “That wasn’t on the dessert counter… how did you…” He snorted as Jack tapped the side of his nose, then shrugged one shoulder and took a bite. “Damn that’s… hey!” He laughed as Jack stole a spoonful of the pie.

“How about instead of Cam taking me back to base tonight,” Vala purred, draping herself over Daniel’s arm. “I come back to your place and,” she paused, snatching his fork from his hand and licking off some ice-cream. “You can demonstrate some of these fascinating earth-based food rituals on me.”

“No.” Daniel sighed and pushed Vala off his shoulder and scooted his chair closer to Jack. “Just… no, Vala.”

“Will you knock it off already, Vala?” Mitchell said in weary exasperation. “How many more times are you gonna throw yourself at Jackson? He isn’t interested and let’s be real here, he’s all but married to General O’Neill!”

Silence fell and everyone stared at Mitchell, who shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

“What did you say, Mitchell?” Jack demanded

Mitchell swallowed audibly and opened his mouth to reply but a burst of laughter from Carter interrupted him. “General O’Neill and Daniel? You really think they’re…” She trailed off into another giggle and shook her head.

Mitchell looked around the table, his forehead creased in a frown. A look of horror and embarrassment spread on his face as his teammates all talked over each other. “There’s nothing… you’re not… I thought… and you all… shit, I… ”

“No,” Jack confirmed. “We are not.”

“You are mistaken ColonelMitchell” Teal’c’s voice broke through Carter’s laughter. “There is no intimacy between DanielJackson and O’Neill.”

Jack nodded towards Teal’c. “What he said. There is nothing between me and Daniel. Am I making myself clear?”

Mitchell paled and nodded. “Yes, Sir.”

“I can’t believe you actually thought…” There was still a hint of laughter in Carter’s voice but Jack frowned; Daniel hadn’t said anything. He turned to look at Daniel who was frozen in place, mouth open and fork in hand.

“Daniel?” Jack nudged him with his elbow and Daniel dropped his fork. The metal clattered against the side of his plate and Daniel jumped slightly at the sound.

“Jack isn’t gay,” Daniel said slowly. “Why would you even think that he was… that we… that we were, that we…?”

Jack turned back to look at Mitchell, one eyebrow raised.

Mitchell’s pale face slowly turned redder as he stammered over an apology. Jack waited a beat before he nodded his acceptance. “It’s… you…” Mitchell ran a hand over his face. “You remind me of my folks. Grabbing food for each other, or the way you steal Jackson’s coffee, Sir. And you have entire conversations just by saying each other’s names, and you’re so in tune, finishing each other’s sentences. Carter and Teal’c never said anything and I just… I thought… I got it wrong. I’m sorry.”

“Oh, Cam.” Carter bit back her laughter. “That’s just… the General and Daniel. And we can all communicate with just a look – it’s called living in each other’s pockets for 7 years.”

“Indeed.”

Jack forced out a laugh. “You should see the list we’ve compiled of all the different things he can mean just by saying that one word.”

Mitchell nodded, corners of his lip pulling into a smile. “Yeah,” he agreed. “Sir, Daniel, I…”

“Forget it, Cam,” Daniel shook his head and pushed his empty plate away from him. He leaned back in his chair, arms crossed over his chest, almost shrinking into himself.

Another awkward silence fell around the table until Vala yawned and stretched in a comically exaggerated fashion. “Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m beat. Cam, are you going to take me and Muscles back to the Mountain or do we need to find that delicious young airman again?”

Mitchell nodded, relief on his face. “Yeah, ok. I said I’d take you back.” His chair scraped against the floor as he stood up and he winced at the sound. “Come on then.”

“I should probably get going too, Sir.” Carter stood up. “It’s been good to see you again.”

“You too, Carter.”

“Bye Sam,” Daniel stood as he spoke. “See you Monday.”

“So that was…” Jack pulled a wad of bills from his wallet and dropped them on the table as a tip. .

“Yeah,” Daniel agreed. “It was. Jack, I…”

“You’re exhausted,” Jack nodded as they walked out of the restaurant and bid good night to the staff. “Go home, get some sleep. Need me to drive you?”

Daniel shook his head as he climbed into his car. “I’ll be fine. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Sounds good,” Jack agreed, closing the car door. “Drive safe.”

****

Jack rapped twice on Daniel’s door, leaning against the doorframe while he waited for him to answer. It was late morning and he knew Daniel was up, could hear him moving around inside, could picture him putting down his notes, saving his work and stretching as he stood. Quiet footsteps came closer to the door and it swung open to reveal a tired looking Daniel, blinking against the bright sunlight.

“Jack.” Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose and pushed his glasses askew. He was wearing frayed, faded jeans and a too-large plaid shirt. His feet were bare and he yawned around his greeting, seeming almost impossibly young for a moment. Jack had a suspicion he hadn’t slept last night, just worked to distract himself. “Hey.”

“Daniel.” Jack smiled to himself at the familiarity of the exchange. “Can I come in?”

“Uh, sure.” Daniel frowned as he stepped back and gestured for Jack to enter. Jack kicked himself; since when did he ask? Huh, clearly he was a little more nervous than he thought. “Come on in. Make yourself comfortable.” Daniel followed him in and closed the door behind them. “You want a drink?”

“Beer would be good,” Jack nodded. He sat down in an empty chair and watched Daniel cross the room to his kitchen. Daniel grabbed a bottle from the fridge, popped the cap and poured himself a fresh coffee as he walked past the machine. He handed Jack his beer and sat back down on the couch. Jack took a slow drink of his beer, and then sat back in his chair. He was starting to wonder if maybe Mitchell was on to something; Daniel didn’t even drink the stuff, yet kept his favourite beer to hand. He swallowed another drink and moved some papers to the side of the table so he could place his bottle down. “What you working on?”

Daniel glanced down at his laptop. “I’ve been helping Dr Weir fine tune some of the translations from Atlantis.” He paused, wrapped his hands around his cup and turned to look at Jack. “And normally, I’d be happy to talk your ear off about the Ancients but you didn’t come here to ask me about work. Not after... what happened last night.”

“No,” Jack sighed. “You’re right, I didn’t.” He picked his beer up, and then put it down again without taking a drink. He stood, hands in his pockets and moved to look out of the window, his back to Daniel.

“So...” Daniel prompted when Jack didn’t say anything.

Yeah, Daniel was gonna make him do the talking. Damnit. “So... Mitchell had some… ah… interesting observations.” Daniel huffed out a laugh, but it sounded strained to Jack. “About you, and me, and...“

“The fact he thinks we act like an old married couple.” Jack could hear the apprehension in Daniel’s voice. “Like his parents,” another forced laugh, this one making Jack wince. “But it’s like Sam said; it just comes from years of living in each other’s pockets. We’re a fluid team; you, me, Sam and Teal’c – a well-oiled machine and we all work seamlessly together.” He trailed off, almost as if he heard how unconvincing he sounded.

“Right,” Jack agreed. He stared out down the street, a pair of kids on their bikes rode up and down. But when was the last time Carter had straightened his tie before he went into a meeting? Or when had he ever taken Teal’c’s coffee cup from his hand, taken a sip and given it back? No, he definitely had a different relationship with Daniel than he did with anyone else and it was a little disconcerting to have it laid out bare like that. Daniel had had a wistful look on his face and Jack couldn’t help but wonder...

“Jack?”

Jack shook himself, startled out of his thoughts. “I noticed something else,” he continued, almost as if there hadn’t been a break. “Me, Carter and T... we all laughed and denied and razzed Mitchell. But you... all you said was ‘Jack’s not gay.’”

“Well you’re not,” Daniel pointed out and, even without looking, Jack could hear his eyebrows rising.

“You only said that I wasn’t gay, that I didn’t feel that way. You said nothing about yourself, what you felt. You didn’t deny, just… just questioned.” Where had all the air gone from the room? Jack felt like he couldn’t breath and ran a hand over the short hairs at the back of his neck.

“What was I supposed to say?” Daniel asked softly. He stood up from the couch and left his coffee mug on the table. “What do you want me to say?” But Jack didn’t have an answer, just watched Daniel’s reflection as he walked closer. “Jack?”

“I don’t... the truth?”

“The truth?” Daniel’s voice almost broke and he was standing elbow to elbow with Jack. Their eyes met in the reflection and Jack’s heart beat like a jackhammer in his chest.

“He was right about so much and I thought if he could see how I felt about you, that maybe... maybe... if I did this...” Jack’s voice was rough and breathy, barely louder than a whisper as he turned to face Daniel. He leaned forward, cupped Daniel's cheek in his hand and swallowed nervously before kissing him; a gentle, soft press of lips on lips before he pulled back and resisted the urge to run and hide.

Daniel's eyes widened and he leaned into Jack's touch. "Oh..." he breathed and brought his hand up to cover Jack's. "Oh!" The corners of his lips curved up into a smile and he met Jack's eyes, before returning the kiss. "You..."

"Yeah." Jack exhaled shakily against Daniel's lips. He wrapped his free arm around Daniel's waist, hand splayed out on his lower back and pulled him close. "God help me but I've loved you since Abydos." He paused to close his eyes and rest his forehead against Daniel's. "The first time."

"Since..." Daniel blinked at Jack in surprise, his lips parted slightly. "I had no idea," he frowned and shook his head. "Jack, I..."

Jack kissed Daniel quiet. "You weren't supposed to," he admitted, then huffed out a laugh. "I didn't count on Mitchell being so observant."

"I'm glad he was." Daniel kissed Jack again and stepped out of his arms, taking on of Jack's hands and leading him back to the couch. "Really glad. Because I do too. Love you, that is." he grinned and Jack grinned back, feeling goofy with relief. "But we've got 11 years of catching up to do and I don't intend on wasting another minute!"

~El Fin~

Date: 2016-07-17 02:36 am (UTC)
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From: [personal profile] ninja007
Loved this! I love how Jack was able to still surprise Daniel. Sweet and romantic.

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