Never Again
By Eilidh17

"Of all the stupid, idiotic things to do!"  Jack wiped Daniel's bandana over his lover's brow, dragging it down his cheek and across his neck. Pale-faced and sweating, Daniel was in trouble.

The booby trap was centuries if not millennia old, primitive and barely functioning; it had none-the-less proven deadly.  Jack cursed his stupidity and spat at his own lax precautions.  Never once in their time together had he ever let Daniel into a cave, ruin, or any other building without checking it first.  So what had been different this time? 

He had been different.

Not Daniel, no, just Jack himself.  Daniel had been back on SG-1 for just over two months now, and amid the flurry of returning memories and nightmares he couldn't understand, they'd reconnected in a new way.  They'd found each other, and a sense of love and family neither of them felt they'd ever find again.

 Don't ask, don't tell.

 Jack hated the rule, but he chose to live by it.  Somewhere along the way with Daniel they'd both accepted their relationship would be forever shrouded in secrecy, and kept firmly away from the prying eyes of the military.
 Familiarity bred contentment, and Jack was very content.  Strolling along with Daniel at his side in the relative safety of a deserted ruin on an equally deserted planet, he'd let his guard down… and Daniel was paying for it.

The design was basic, the booby trap was set to be activated by pressure, and Daniel was the first one through the door.  The subtle click of a sprung trap registered in Jack's mind too late, and before he could push Daniel out of harms way, a short spear shot out from the far wall straight through Daniel's side.  The tip was so sharp it had sliced into Daniel like a knife through butter and slid smoothly out the other side. Jack had never seen anything like it, and in the heat of the moment, he didn't care for the view.

Daniel had dropped like a stone, not even bothering to clutch at his side, or register the pain Jack knew he had to be feeling.  Scrambling to catch him, Jack dragged him clear of the building and out into the hot sun.

The call of help to Carter and Teal'c had carefully disguised his building fear that this time there would be no saving his partner.  Carrying him into the shelter of another building, not chancing a trip indoors against the probability of another trap, Jack tried to fight back a familiar feeling of hopelessness.

Sliding in behind Daniel, he laid him back against his chest, one hand pressed firmly down on the wound while the other rifled through his vest dragging out a field bandage.  Daniel groaned under his ministrations and Jack kissed the top of his head lightly, hoping to offer some comfort. 

Daniel's death and ascension barely a year and a half ago still tore at Jack's heart.  What he thought and what he forced from his lips still amazed him.  Replaying the scene through his head again and again, Jack finally realized he'd tried to heal a failing friendship, but let his pride stand in the way.  It was a pitiful attempt to make amends, and he hated himself for his weakness.  The monitors beeped in tune, the muted light shone in his eyes, but Jack remembered none of it.  Sitting on his stool, hands clasped in his lap, he'd opened his mouth and cowardly words had fallen out.

Too little, too late.  Within hours Daniel was gone, and Jack's slide into depression had taken on a life of its own.  The panic fuelled fear and sense of impending loss that overwhelmed him all those months ago was back.  While Charlie's death had been sudden and unexpected, Daniel's was drawn out and pain filled.  Powerful, technologically advanced allies meant nothing when the SGC's calls for help went unanswered… and when help did arrive….  Jack shook his head in an effort to push those thoughts away, lock them back where they belonged.  While he had Daniel back a part of him was still mourning his loss. 


"Shhhh, close your eyes."

"What's wrong?"  Daniel moved again.  Twisting to look up at Jack caused the wound in his side to open more and Jack could feel the flow of fresh blood soaking up the field bandage under his hand.  Daniel shivered, pain dulling his eyes as he blinked slowly. 

"Lay back, come on."  Jack pulled him in closer, tearing open the last of his field dressings and pressing it over the bloodied one.  "Help’s coming, I just need you to hang on."

"Didn't see it," Daniel mumbled, nestling his face into Jack's shoulder and letting out a soft sigh.

Of course you didn't, Danny, it was my job to protect you and I failed.  "Neither did I, and I'm sorry."

"Not going anywhere."

"What was that?" 

"I said I'm not going anywhere."  Daniel's voice was almost muffled against the fabric of Jack's uniform. "It's what you're scared of."

How the hell did he…?


"Too much to live for this time."

The End

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