Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them. I don't. Ha!
I've lost count of the amount of 'Daniel shouts some sense into Jack after 100 Days' fanfic I've read. So here's mine.
She never once asked him about his time on Edora, which was just as well. Teal'c asked in passing, and of course he had to give a report to Hammond, but Sam remained continually silent about the subject. He remembered to thank her for bringing him back when it finally set in that he was actually here, he was actually home. Had been for a whole week.
She'd told him it was nothing sir, and that she really had to get back to work. Although she had obviously always enjoyed her work, he'd never seen her focus on the naquadah reactor with such zeal before.
Daniel - being Daniel - naturally came to see him when everything had settled down. When the 'welcome backs' and celebrations and threats of fishing trips were duly issued.
That wasn't exactly true. It just felt like it.
He actually went to see Daniel, but as Daniel - being Daniel - had obviously been expecting him for a few days, he figured that it amounted to the same thing.
When Jack walked into his 'office' Daniel was doing a pretty good impression of reading a book, but it was quite obvious to the Colonel that when Daniel looked up and said "Jack," his look of surprise was not at all believable.
He knew he'd come. He knew he'd come here.
It's not like he could go to her.
Jack sat on the chair at the opposite side of the desk to Daniel, but didn't face him. Instead, for the duration of his stay in the room, he was determined to stare at the wall as if he found it the most fascinating thing in the entire Universe. More fascinating than hockey, fishing, or Sam Carter's eyes.
Daniel tried again, out of Jack's view. "Hi,"
Jack let him. "Hi."
More silence. "Glad to be back?"
*My* that wall was fascinating… "Sure."
"You don't…seem it."
What colour would he say that wall was? Ocean grey? More like…gravel? "I left a lot behind."
"You left more here."
He knew that. Of course he knew that. He just couldn't say it. "I came back," That was enough.
Maybe it was best described as military grey…
"That's supposed to make us feel better?"
HA! "Yes, I should hope so. I should hope that my safe return after a few short months would warm even the hardest of hearts." He almost broke his own rule, almost turned his head to look at him.
The sound of a book being slammed shut echoed from Daniel's side of the desk. "You do know everything you left behind here, don't you Jack? *Everything*?"
"I don't know Daniel, your subtlety only seems to be hitting me at about ten times the speed of light, so I'm not sure if I do." Dammit, dammit, dammit! Why did he say crap like that?
A sigh made its way over to him. "What was she like? I mean, when you got to know her."
An easy question. Sweet. "Pretty much how she seemed. Caring, loving, adventurous, determined."
"Sounds like the perfect woman."
Sure. Absolutely. Completely. For once Danny-boy, you and I are in complete agreement. "Yeah."
And there it was. There was the but. He could have seen that coming a mile away and in all honesty - he had. It was madness really, wasn't it? A beautiful, caring woman, quite willing to have sex with him, and… "She wasn't enough."
He wanted to be able to say that her eyes lit up like stars when she discovered something new. He wanted to be able to say that she appreciated the hell out of his sense of humour. He wanted to be able to say that he knew - and loved that he knew - that she could kick his butt. He wanted to be able to say that he had invited her to come back only because he cared about her, not because he hoped that she would be a distraction against something - or someone - else.
For the first time he was glad she said no. Glad she stayed there. If she had come back with him, it would have been the cruellest thing he'd ever done.
And he'd done some questionable things in his time.
Daniel was talking again. "Does she know that?"
Does *who* know *what*? He didn't even know who they were talking about anymore. "I doubt it."
Another sigh echoed across. "As your friend and as someone who's lost his wife…I want to tell you…well, you know what I want to tell you. But as a responsible adult - no comments please - I know better. I know it's more complicated than that. Perhaps it should be, perhaps it shouldn't be; but the fact remains that it is. The rules are there for a reason."
That was it. The words that stopped him needing to say anything else. The words that made any other argument moot. The rules *were* there for a reason. A very good one.
He suddenly hated Daniel.
There was nothing else to say. Nothing else he could say. Without a goodbye he stood up and still didn't look at his friend. "Daniel, what colour would you say that wall is?"
A long silence followed, as Daniel was either choosing a colour or deciding Jack was mad. "Grey."
Jack nodded. "That's what I thought," Then he, too, lapsed into silence before quietly leaving the room.
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