Prompt: "There's nothing quite like a stroll to boost your mood."
Word count: 943
There’s nothing quite like a stroll to boost your mood. Jack’s mother had told him that once, back in the days when she’d grab him by the hand, after an argument with his father, and tow him out of the house and around the neighborhood, telling him stories of the stars they could see in the night sky as they walked. Of course, Jack had been a kid then and he could only surmise that his mom had been right because by the time they got home, she’d be all smiles and she’d grab his dad around the shoulders and hug him and they’d both apologize till Jack rolled his eyes at them and told them to quit it already.
And now here he was forty something years later testing out her theory and hoping like hell it worked. His mood wasn’t improving much as he walked, he thought sourly. That might have something to with the fact that it was colder than a witch’s tit out and his knees were already aching even though he’d only made it half way round the block. He pushed himself on though and blocked all thoughts of why he was out here from his mind and just slogged on, like an Olympic walker in training for gold medal day. It was only when he realized he’d circuited the block four times and was once again in front of his house that he decided enough was enough and stopped walking, leaned up against the handy tree in the front yard and thought about why he was here.
He and Daniel had been arguing pretty much continuously for a while now. Carter and Teal’c would probably say that was nothing new but then Carter and Teal’c didn’t know that arguing was pretty much something that only happened between them on the job or because of the job. At home, in their own personal little corner of the world, they’d been rubbing along like an old married couple for a few years now. Sure, there was the occasional spat over whose turn it was to do the dishes or mow the yard or what to watch on TV but Jack had always thought comfortably when they happened, they were married arguments, just like the ones his mom and dad used to have. These latest rounds of verbal warfare had been different. Daniel had sounded hurt and betrayed and Jack really couldn’t blame him. How could he excuse the fact that he’d slept with Kerry Johnson while Daniel had been missing after being killed by RepliCarter after all? Jack hadn’t been sure how Daniel had found out until tonight, when Daniel admitted that Sam had told him she’d caught them.
Jack rubbed a hand over his face. Carter didn’t know about him and Daniel, he thought, so he had no idea why she’d chosen to impart that little nugget of information to him. He grinned a little ruefully as he remembered what Kerry has asked him when she’d left, whether it was just rules and regs that were keeping them apart. She’d meant him and Carter of course and he hadn’t bothered to avail her of the truth.
He saw the front door open a crack and sighed. As his dad would say it was time to man up and admit he’d been an idiot. He stiffened his resolve and his aching knees and headed up the path and into the house.
Daniel was waiting for him.
“I’m sorry,” they both said at the same time.
Daniel smiled faintly then said, “You first.”
Jack shook his head. “I don’t know why it happened, Daniel. You were gone and even though I kept telling Carter you’d be back soon, I have to admit there was a part of me that wondered…” He swallowed down what felt like a rock in his throat at the remembered anguish of those days.
“You’d replace me in our bed that fast if I did die?” Daniel snapped and Jack couldn’t really blame him for the hurt in his voice and eyes.
“it was never going to be more than that one time, Daniel. Look, I fucked up badly. I know that. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else I can say or do to make it right.”
“Telling me before I heard it from Sam would have been a good start,” Daniel replied. “You know, I find it hard enough knowing she still has a crush on you the size of Egypt as it is without finding out something like this from her.”
“I don’t blame you for being jealous,” Jack whispered, moving forward a step at a time till he could pull Daniel into his arms.
“Jealous? Me? Of Sam?” Daniel tried on a mock-surprised ‘don’t be ridiculous’ look and Jack began to believe that maybe it just might be all right after all.
“Of course you’re jealous of her,” Jack said. “She’s smarter than you and me.”
“But I’m prettier,” Daniel replied and Jack grinned, pulling him close and burying his head in the curve of Daniel’s neck, kissing the warm skin there.
“You are that, Dr. Jackson,” he whispered. “Forgive me?”
“I already had, “Daniel said turning his head to kiss Jack’s cheek. “I just wanted to see how long it would take you to ask me.”
“You mean, you made me walk around the block in the freezing cold just to teach me a lesson?” Jack asked indignantly. “My knees are killing me.”
“Come to bed,” Daniel said, turning to pull him along to their bedroom. “I’ll kiss them better for you.”
“You know,” Jack said, “that’s not the only part of me that’s aching…”