Cry For The Moon

Never again.
Never again would he allow any member of any team he commanded, from now until his likely fast approaching retirement, sneak past his defenses to become a friend. Nothing even like a close acquaintance. After a solid hour of whizzing the ball into his street hockey goal, Jack had mentally sorted through all the options and finally realized that was the only course of action for him to take. The only thing that would prevent this horrible deadness from taking over his body and soul again.
//"He was your friend."//
Ah, Charlie. It had only been three hours since one of his closest friends in the world had died. No, been killed by Jack's own hand. Angrily, he reset his shot and slammed the stick into the ball mightily. The shot went wide, bouncing hard on the garage door, ricocheting oddly off the manual handle and flying back toward him. Reflexively, he dodged but wasn't fast enough. The ball smacked his ankle, and though it was not all that painful, he crumpled to the ground while the projectile fled the driveway and into the street.
//"My friend died on the table."//
Those words continued to haunt him. He'd said them without hesitation, as if vocalizing them to an audience would mean he himself had believed that much had been true -that it hadn't really been his friend he'd ordered killed. The justification, which had grown with every swipe at the ball until it became a roar in his head, was futile; it didn't change the outcome or diminish the loss. Sitting there in a huddled pile in the middle of his driveway, Jack made the resolution again. Most people swore off food, cigarettes or alcohol because all three had the potential to kill slowly. He was swearing off friendship, though it had nothing to do with his own physical mortality.
Sweat trickled into his eyes, searing so strongly tears sprang up to combat the fire. Jerkily, he let the hockey stick clatter onto the blacktop and eased into a more comfortable sitting position with his legs slightly bent at the knees. He let the tears cleanse, wash out the irritant with proficiency befitting their function. High commendation to his tear ducts for working so hard. Chuckling crazily, Jack wasn't sure when the moisture had turned from necessity to plain old hysterical emotion but he couldn't stop the tears from raining down his face. There were no embarrassing sobs, just grief sliding gracefully, horribly down his exertion-flushed cheeks.
Ah, goddamnit, Charlie.
He touched the fingertips of his right hand with his left, remembering the feel of his friend's fear-clammy grasp and with it, the depth of kinship that small link had signified. Theirs had been a bond of comradeship, a brotherhood of life and death. It had been too much. He'd had no choice but to lob off a lame joke to break the heavy mood, and it had worked like an O'Neill charm. On the surface, at least. Underneath the laughter, Jack's heart had been breaking with panic that bluff and bluster wouldn't succeed, because really, he had thought, there was a limit to how much or often that crap worked.
"Crap," he whispered to the sky. Why couldn't it have worked one more time? He knew the answer to that. Luck didn't last, life wasn't a fairy tale with happily ever afters abounding. If bravado always beat the odds, there would be no reason to it all. There was no reason, in any case. "Crap."
Wearily pulling off his foggy sunglasses, Jack closed his eyes against the sunshine and passed his hand across them to clear the treacherous dampness. He sniffed once, slipped the shades back on and opened his eyes to stare at his feet. Sweat traced a path down the back and sides of his neck, tickling almost painfully. He shuddered, dropping his right hand on top of the abandoned hockey stick. Looking over to the street, he spotted the bright orange rubber ball he'd been using as a makeshift puck underneath his neighbor's Dodge Caravan. He debated on whether or not to just leave it there.
Leave it, he decided. Clambering stiffly to his feet, Jack winced as his knees complained and his back crackled. He didn't care. Emptiness within that he could never allow to be filled again. Nudging his toe in the space between the hockey stick and the pavement, he kicked it up into the air and caught it without enthusiasm. Just like his repeated mantra, using up all of his energy on making goal after goal hadn't done a damn thing for him but remind him of how he and Charlie had talked about getting an SGC hockey league going - street for the spring, summer and fall, ice for the winter. Had talked about it for all of two days, before...God, two days! They hadn't even got around to running the idea past Ferretti.
The air sucked out of his lungs at the thought of the still recuperating major; he wondered if anyone had notified the man that one of his good friends had died 'in the line of duty'. His own selfish escapist behavior shamed him. He leaned heavily on the wooden stick, resting his forehead on the rough end and hoping it had been taken care of. Selfishness again. Sighing heavily, Jack straightened up and began the trek into the house with sick dread chilling his insides. It didn't matter if General Hammond had already reported the news to Ferretti, he owed the only other survivor of the first Abydos mission a phone call. At the very least.
Crunching of tires on loose pebbles pulled his attention before his plodding feet had carried him halfway up the driveway. He looked up, confusedly eyeing the Air Force jeep slowly creeping along the curb in front of his house. It had the top up, windows dusty and smudged enough to prevent seeing exactly who was cursing him with his or her presence. He brushed his left hand across his cheeks one last time in an automatic gesture to remove any lingering evidence of his fit of unrestrained tears.
The passenger door opened, one Doctor Daniel Jackson scrambling out and turning to mumble something to the driver. Confusion shaded to suspicion, grew to anger. The jeep sped away before Daniel had even shut the door, as if it knew the reception the archaeologist was likely to gain. Smart. Jack didn't want company, he wanted to be Alone. Obligation to Ferretti moved to the back burner as he glared once at the rumpled man at his curbside, then flung the hockey stick down and started stalking after the departing vehicle, his arms waving in an attempt to stop the driver. Didn't want, didn't want. Didn't want Daniel butting into his space.
"Colonel, I don't ha..." Daniel called after him, words breaking off.
He whirled, retracing his steps back toward his front yard. With every step, his anger grew and made his face twitch. Pulling up to his unwanted visitor, Jack studied him. Hands jammed deeply into his baggy khakis pockets, and hair hanging across his forehead, Daniel presented a picture of total meekness but he somehow knew blowing up at the other man would not get rid of him. Narrowing his eyes, he stared at the archaeologist for several silent seconds, surprised when Daniel's gaze didn't shirk. Not meekness, caution.
"What are you doing here?"
The buried hands exhumed themselves, spreading placatively wide. Daniel blinked at him, expression rearranging from watchfulness to perplexity. Clearing his throat, the archaeologist said, "I'm staying in your guestroom."
Nope. Not going to work. Like the void inside, his words bore no semblance of warmth, "You're a lousy liar. That hasn't been true, not for the past couple nights. The on-base quarters were fine then. They're fine now."
He turned his entire body, facing stolidly away. Shuffling commenced but he didn't bite; the other man could shuffle a groove into the ground for all he cared. Daniel destroyed his tactic, slowly circling to stand directly in front of him. Clenching his jaw, Jack readied either for some type of attempted, suffocating sympathy or an argument. He didn't really know Daniel all that well - and that was going to stay that way - but if he had to guess, he'd say the latter over the former was the likely weapon of choice for the civilian.
"Will you let me use your phone to call for a ride back to base?" Daniel quietly asked.
Blinking stupidly, Jack was disturbed both by the easy defeat and the odd surge of disappointment rising in his chest. The casual mention of the phone, though, re-accentuated his intended mission.
"Stay here. I'll call for you. I have another..." He choked off his deadened voice, halting from giving Daniel more information than he really needed to know.
He didn't even know why he'd nearly mentioned Ferretti at all. Darkness, terrible cold. Tell Ferretti and then get distance from everyone and everything. The only way. Spinning toward his front door, Jack paused as he passed the hockey stick, leaning down and scooping it up. Behind him, obediently still at the curb, Daniel cleared his throat.
"I, um, I just got back from Major Ferretti's house, Colonel O'Neill." There was an ocean of waves crashing in his ears, salt water stinging his eyes. "You don't have to call him. He knows...and he's rather upset."
Upset, ya think? Fierce anger returned. No right, the guy had no right to do his job. Stopping in his tracks, Jack swallowed three times and tried to force his sight and hearing into a semblance of normality. His knuckles whitened around the wood and he thought he might be making indentations in it from his tight grip. He had an impulse to smash it onto the sidewalk, break it into tiny splinters. Apparently his need for physical release hadn't been alleviated. At least he didn't want to crack it over Daniel's head.
"Is he," he dully said.
"Yeah. He, uh, kind of kicked me out."
"Did he." Imagine that.
"I just...I didn't think a phone call was appropriate." Letting his chin drop to his chest, Jack gnawed at the flesh just to the inside left of his mouth. Daniel was oblivious of his regret, continuing on, "I mean, he and Major Kawalsky were good friends, weren't they?"
"Yes." Friends. There was the crux of the problem. He wondered if Ferretti had figured that out like he had. He would never know now, starting to walk again on legs stiff with tension. Ignoring another uncertain throat clearing from Daniel, he kept on. Didn't mean to say anything else, but the word slipped from his lips again anyway, "Yes, they were."
"Colonel...um, Jack?"
What? What was so difficult to understand about his rejection? The guy was starting to remind him of a nagging wife or a pestering...child. Ah, God, Charlie. Joining his stiff legs, his shoulders rigidified. He was mildly surprised it had taken so long to make the inevitable journey down that path; he'd never really correlated Kawalsky's name to his son's. He hadn't even told Charlie about Charlie. It had never struck him odd in the least that he could rely on the men in his Special Ops team with his life, taking that connection for what it was and only that. No sharing, nothing much by way of personal closeness. Their relationship was...had been strong and good but limited by the rigors of military duty.
Charlie, Charlie. Buried though it was, the ferocity of heartache never lessened and when it fully surfaced it had the effect of stopping the world. Vast emptiness. He glanced at the hockey goal still leaning against his garage door. Thought of the games he would never have the chance to play with his son. Goddamnit, he didn't need this now. His head swirled.
"Uhm..."
"What," he stated, prompted into reluctant speech at last. Go away. Stop talking.
"If you wouldn't, I mean, would you mind if I, uh, borrowed the hockey stick while I wait for someone to pick me up?"
Huh? For a second, Jack thought perhaps the archaeologist had some way to read his mind. He immediately dismissed the idea, because Daniel would never have lingered around if he had any clue whatsoever to Jack's inner workings, the darkness there. Hell, Daniel was apparently inept at reading outer workings. The man never changed. He gritted his teeth together, wordlessly stretching his hockey stick bearing right hand backward and waited for the weight to shift before he released his hold. He walked away.
"Ball's on the street," he curtly called as an afterthought.
The coolness of the house as he stepped inside shocked with bracing strength but he welcomed it, and the relative darkness. Shutting the big door, he pressed his back into it. His shoulder blades dug into the vertical grooves, and he relished that sensation as well. Real, solid. Grounding. Jack took off his sunglasses, letting them drop to his chest and dangle from their cord. He stared at the phone for a second before moving toward it, hesitating. He didn't know why. Outside, he heard wood intermittently scraping against asphalt, followed by effortful grunts. Veering from his path, he reflexively aimed for the long window adjacent to the door.
Through the wide-slatted blinds, he watched Daniel repeatedly hammer the blaze orange ball. The other man wasn't a very good shot, missing two out of three times but the delivery of each was filled with concentrated fervor. Jack looked toward the phone. Daniel let out a particularly noisy grunt. When he moved his attention back to the driveway, he saw the younger man sitting on the ground, knees up, arms propped on them and head hanging. The ball was lying, abandoned, by the net. He opened the door and stood there. He shut it half way. Opened it again.
Then he was suddenly standing in front of Daniel. The archaeologist glanced up, squinting from the sun streaming into his eyes and the sweat gliding down his face. Startlement was clear even behind the narrowed lids, and Jack didn't know which of them felt that way more. He blinked. What was he doing? Furrowing his eyebrows, he quickly put his sunglasses on and turned his back. Daniel coughed.
"Colonel?" Jack stopped. The rank sounded wrong coming from the archaeologist even though it was right. And it was right. Daniel continued, "Maybe you could, uh, show me how it's done? I don't seem to be much good at this."
He turned around and stared at the upturned face, the startlement gone, hurt unveiled. Tangible pain. For some reason, the revealed emotion made anger spike again as if he felt his rights to grieve alone had been violated. Already, he found irritation an all too common occurrence when it came to Daniel. That he couldn't seem to keep the other man from pushing his buttons, intentionally or unintentionally, only served to rile him up more. Fine. He'd show Daniel how to use a hockey stick properly. Then he'd get rid of him.
"Try to block me," he ordered, stiltedly returning to Daniel's side.
Picking up the stick, Jack waved impatiently at the goal. Daniel moved unquestioningly, scrambling to his feet and removing his jacket. Jack's eyebrows automatically twitched; even if he couldn't claim to know the younger man that well, he knew basic information. Like Daniel's clearly independent, stubborn mind - when the man wanted something, he wouldn't let up. And the tendency to think long and hard about an order before actually complying with it was already obvious as well. Aggravating, yet this strange compliance was more so. He retrieved the ball and began with a wicked shot that whizzed right through the archaeologist's legs.
As when he had been alone, the activity seemed to pull all of his concentration, and he was soon firing shot after mindless shot. Daniel disappeared from his focus so much that Jack didn't really register the younger man darting back and forth. He vaguely heard their grunts mingling in the air, a distortion of the typical stadium static at a hockey game. Instead of diminishing with every passing minute, his energy seemed to grow impossibly and each swing at the hard ball became more frenzied.
He was pissed.
At Charlie.
At Daniel.
At himself.
At life and death and everythingeverything.
Dull roaring drowned out all other sound, and sweat rained off of him in large droplets. Useless anger, useless means to deal with emotions he still couldn't fully pin down. On and on it raged until his ears registered something other than the rushing blood, and it was enough to halt him with both arms still slightly raised from his last swing. Lucidity gained a foothold swiftly, eyes jarring back online in time to see Daniel crumpling to the ground even as the pained cry was swallowed by the thud of a body hitting pavement. The orange ball shimmied guiltily away, onto the street once again, where it skulked under another parked car. No, blame was his, not the inanimate object's.
"Shit," he muttered as he instinctively lunged for the fallen man.
Hurt seemed to follow him around like a puppy or a shadow. Daniel lay on his side, right cheek planted into the hard ground. Already forming brilliantly on the left half of his forehead, a red welt poked through the tumble of unruly hair. Jack thanked his lucky stars he apparently hadn't hit directly on the man's glasses, which were awkwardly askew. Eyes tightly shut, the archaeologist had his jaw clenched equally firmly as if to keep in an outcry. Waving his hands uselessly above Daniel, he hesitated, unsure how badly the other man was injured and whether moving him was a good idea.
At last, Daniel groaned, "Oh, this hurts."
"Where, what?" Duh.
"Headache, big headache."
"Open your eyes so I can check you out. You may have a concussion," Jack ordered, putting his hands down at last, curling his fingers around Daniel's bicep and shoulder.
"I'm fine."
"Daniel."
"I am," Daniel mumbled, opening his eyes and blearily looking up at him.
Pupils really were even, Jack discovered after a moment's scrutiny, though he noted a slight abrasion on the right cheekbone. Shifting around from behind Daniel, he eased his left hand below the grounded shoulder and helped the other man sit up. The shirt below his hand was as soaked as his, the face streaming wet with sweat. He glanced at his watch, astonished to learn they'd been out here for another half an hour. His own breath came harshly, loud pants of which he immediately attempted to control. The air rasped from his nostrils, dragged back in. Daniel seemed to be having as much difficulty as he, and he was strangely glad. It only lasted a moment, then his eyes locked on the layer of clear ooze forming on the archaeologist's scraped cheek.
He climbed to his feet, gracelessly pulling Daniel up as well. Swaying slightly, the other man seemed to pale under his flushed face, leaving two unnatural looking blotches on his cheeks. Jack frowned, instantly assessing the archaeologist's condition more closely. The guy was under his command...and he looked like hell, dark circles obvious through the lenses of his glasses. Something in him twitched, partial irritation, partial concern. Partial irritation at the concern. He shut it down hard.
"Whatever. Come on," Jack gruffly said, letting the hand he had half raised to lend aid fall. He wiped it down the front of his pant leg and started walking away. Insensitive SOB was an easy role to assume and believe. "Let's clean up that cut."
Stick to business. In fact, the guy could take care of his own injuries while he took care of something just as important - making the phone call he should have done earlier. He led Daniel to the kitchen, not the bathroom because that would have taken the other man too far into his home. Flapping his arm at the sink, Jack pivoted without waiting to see if his uninvited guest understood and left Daniel alone while he aimed for the telephone in the den. He heard the water initially hiss rapidly against the metal basin, and then tone down as the archaeologist got the stream under control. Soft murmurs and a muted intake of breath followed and he paused just outside the door.
Eavesdropping wasn't his style, but he heard the names Sha'uri and Skaara and they adhered him to the floor more effectively than superglue. Rushing back into him in full force, compassion and regret filled the self-inflicted emptiness before he could stop it and his stomach iced over. No...no, he had to shove them away as well as erasing the thought of Skaara's terrible fate from his mind. He didn't need more torment. He needed Daniel gone. Five minutes ago. Trying to ignore the niggling question of why it was so vital to be alone or, more accurately, to be without Daniel Jackson's company, Jack continued on to the den.
He made it all of five steps into the room when he was inexplicably thumped by a ghost image. Not of anything that would have made sense - his son or Charlie or so many friends lost to him. He saw Daniel, sitting uncomfortably in his armchair and fumbling a beer between his hands. Shaking his head, he tried to dispel the nonsensical picture. He was losing it here. Jack ran an oddly shaky hand through his damp hair, wiping his palm down the front of his jeans. He needed a shower. Wash it all away.
Tugging his shirt from his waistband, Jack backed up a step and closed his eyes in the hopes the apparition would fade away by the time he opened them again. He was relieved when they were actualized, the Daniel image absent. Turning around, he pulled his shirt up further, elbows jutting up. He jerked in alarm at the appearance of a very solid Daniel, who was standing squarely in line with his jabbing right elbow. The other man's eyes widened in recognition of what was about to happen, but neither of them could stop it.
"Oof," Daniel exhaled as Jack attempted but failed to reclaim his elbow.
"Goddamnit," Jack said and though he meant it to be apologetic, it came off as angry. Daniel stumbled back, bending slightly at the waist and wrapping his arms tightly across his chest. Another odd pang hit Jack's insides. He looked away, swallowing a couple of times before he glanced back. "Sorry."
"It's okay, Colonel O'Neill. I should have let you know I was coming. You just looked, um, you looked..."
Insane? Empty? Colonel O'Neill, Colonel O'Neill. The epithet sounded even more wrong now. Growling almost mutely in his throat, Jack swallowed the random, unsolicited feeling.
"Lost."
Snapping his eyes up at the startlingly accurate description, Jack stared into vivid blue - made more vibrant than ever by unmitigated sorrow. Before, that emotion had incensed him. Now, it made him ill as he finally understand why Daniel had come over. The archaeologist knew what he was feeling. Jack didn't know how, just that he was incredibly disturbed by it. Furrowing his eyebrows, he noted those blue eyes were rimmed in red. Jesus, had the guy been crying? He averted his gaze, but it was of no use since it skimmed off the bump on the other man's forehead to the scrape on his cheek. Merely physical manifestations of pain and though Daniel seemed to uncannily understand him, he had no clue. He swallowed and studied the floor. Didn't want to know. Didn't.
"I don't make friends easily," Daniel murmured.
Stop. Stop. Stop. Don't say it.
"I didn't even know Major Kawalsky that well."
Thunder in his ears. Stop, please.
"I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that he was on the initial trip to Abydos. I thought about you guys a lot, you know. Being back here after..." There was a long pause, then Daniel continued in a thick voice, "...after what happened to Sha'uri and Skaara is surreal. Ferretti, Kawalsky and you are the only things familiar. Were. Without you, I don't know..."
Jack wearily staggered to the sofa and sank heavily onto it as Daniel trailed off with a loud swallow. Shit. The hardened layer he'd worked so hard to construct became saturated like a crust of bread in water and he knew he was in trouble. Big. Covering his forehead with his clammy left hand, he closed his eyes and listened to Daniel shift on his feet. Back and forth, uncertain and needing. He couldn't give, he *couldn't*.
He was too late. He already had.
In his mind's eye, he saw Daniel in baggy Air Force coveralls, sitting in his armchair and reaching out. It all went back to the fact that the man standing in his den knew him; had seen through the coldness on Abydos and was seeing through it now. Choking out a sobbing laugh, he flopped back into a half sprawl. Shuffling feet stopped, there was a noisy inhalation and then the feet moved again. Away from him, and quickly. He jerked his hand off his forehead and sat up just in time to see Daniel's retreating figure darting through the door.
"Daniel!" The younger man's fast pace didn't falter. "Daniel, wait, stop!"
The irony that he was now trying to stop Daniel from leaving was not lost on him. Protesting, overused muscles twinged as he lunged for the other man, snaring an elbow tightly and arresting him in his tracks. He kept his hand in place, swinging around to stand in front of the archaeologist and trying to gain eye contact. Pulling his arm out of Jack's grip, Daniel assumed what was quickly becoming a trend in posture. He furrowed his eyebrows. Big trouble. He looked at the silent man in front of him, watched his chest rise and fall rapidly with agitation and, he assumed, hurt. He was a bastard.
After a minute of waiting for Daniel to look at him, Jack replaced his hand from where it had been removed, wrapping his fingers around so they were pressed between sharp elbow and ribs. Daniel twitched slightly but didn't resist the touch. Tentatively, he strengthened his grip once and then relaxed. He hoped it said what he wanted it to - I'm sorry, thank you, I understand. He did understand that Daniel had not only lost a friend, he'd lost a link to his wife, his brother. He had been wrong, he realized with twenty-twenty hindsight that Ferretti wasn't the only other survivor from Abydos; there was this man whom he'd treated so poorly. Already a friend, and not just because of shared experiences. He reached up his other hand, running his index and middle fingers lightly on the reddened bump on Daniel's forehead. The archaeologist reactively looked up at last, eyes flitting quickly to his face and then just as quickly away.
"I'm sorry. I know I'm being an asshole, but that wasn't what you thought," he rambled, past the point of caring how rattled he was. "It wasn't."
His wandering words earned him another cautious glance, enough for him to see doubt and he knew the question was coming.
"Then what was it?"
What was it? What was it about Daniel that got under his skin and irritated him so? No, irritated wasn't the right word. It was more that the archaeologist was passionate and stubborn - completely the opposite of him in method and so much like him in ideals. Theirs was going to be a friendship with frightening depth. He wasn't sure if he could handle it, definitely didn't want it. But it was, nonetheless.
"I miss Charlie."
Whoa, not what he meant to say.
"I know you do."
That's all Daniel said. He didn't elaborate with trite comments on how Charlie had been a good man...and how Charlie had been a beautiful son and that it was okay to miss them, like most people would have done. Ineptly and improperly. And for his...friend's understanding, Jack was grateful. He squeezed Daniel's elbow again and realized that vowing to isolate himself was like a child crying for the moon, an impossibility. Only in his case, denying friendship would not have brought him happiness and his wish had not been filled with hope.
They stood there, in a pose that should have been embarrassing, for a long moment before something akin to guilt flashed across Daniel's face. Withdrawing his hand, Jack raised his eyebrows in silent inquiry.
"I'll miss Kawalsky as a friend," Daniel whispered, planting his eyes just to the right of Jack's shoulder. "But there's a selfish part of me that is scared that there now is one less person to help find Sha'uri. And Skaara."
"I know," Jack replied. "I know."
"How am I going to find her, Colonel? Find them?"
"You're not...we are, remember?" Daniel relaxed and gave him what he thought was meant to be a smile, though it wavered. He scowled at the wound on the other man's cheek. Vaguely pointing his finger at it, Jack murmured, "Sorry about before."
"It's...it's okay. I think you needed it."
He had needed a lot of things, apparently.
"Come on, let's get some Neosporin on that so you don't scar."
Daniel looked puzzled as he asked, "But won't my ride be here soon?"
"Don't worry about it. I never called the Mountain."
Jack tried to casually brush off that tidbit of information. It didn't work, and Daniel upgraded the weak smile into a full, relieved one. Leading the younger man through his house, toward the medicine cabinet in his bathroom, he wondered at his own one hundred eighty degree turnaround and enjoyed the footfalls scuffling behind him. He had been foolish to desire aloneness; life was worth living when surrounded by friends and instead of pushing people away, he'd draw them in...and make sure nothing happened to them.
"And Daniel?" he queried, turning around to smile at the archaeologist.
"Yes?"
"Call me Jack."


Never again. Never again.
Jack angrily swung and missed the ball, whiffing the air. It reminded him of the last time he had set up the hockey goal in the driveway, the day on which he made a grave mistake. Through some stroke of chance, Daniel Jackson had shown up that day and had convinced him isolation was not the answer. He had let the archaeologist in, and was starting to let his other two team members into his inner circle. Had been letting. No more.
//"He said, 'Colonel, help me, please' and then he was gone, sir."//
Those weren't the words Daniel had screamed and he had thought detaching himself would help get through the debriefing. It hadn't, because Daniel hadn't called for the colonel, he had called for his friend Jack. No matter what he did, he couldn't forget that or the blatant agony his friend Daniel had endured the last moments of his life. Jack choked and swung at the ball again, wanting to scream with as much agony raging in his soul as had Daniel. One last demonstration before he closed himself off.
The sun beat down on him, and he felt the sweat gliding down his chest and back. But he was cold. Already lost, no release in scream or frenetic activity. He needed to be away from it all. No more SGC. No more Air Force. Retire for good, go to the cabin and stay where he couldn't hurt anyone and no one could hurt him. He hit the ball again, swing cramped by an innocuous ice blue Ford Taurus in his driveway. Rage attempted rebirth, and Jack smashed the driver's side window with his hockey stick.
"Can someone get this damn car outta here?" he bellowed.
Never again.
Daniel was dead and his loss would be the last Jack would have to bear.
The End

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.