SG-1 was on an alien planet. Only there weren't any aliens, not live ones. Daniel was digging up some dead ones. (Though they were probably humans, actually.)
Jack was really bored. He wished that he were home drinking beer and watching football on TV. Or maybe shooting something. He looked around, in case there was something there to shoot, but there were no alien bunnies or anything. He looked closely at Teal'c, just to check that he wasn't going to go evil and then Jack would have to shoot him. But Teal'c was just helping Daniel dig. So was Sam. Jack of course had to keep watch, so he couldn't be expected to dig.
Then Jack noticed that Daniel was wincing while he brushed dirt off of a skull. Immediately, he ran to Daniel's side. "What's wrong, Daniel?" he asked, his heart filling with concern and fear.
Daniel shrugged his shoulders. "Nothing," he said.
"None of that," Jack said in a tone of mixed compassion and authority. "I know that you're hurt. How long have you been concealing it from me?"
"Well, about five minutes ago, when I was pulling out that femur, I strained my right wrist a little. It gives me a bit of a twinge sometimes."
Jack was aghast at Daniel's cavalier attitude! Daniel would never acknowledge his own weaknesses. He tried to hide them instead. So of course things just got worse and worse. "You should have told me immediately. You have to get treatment before you're incapacitated."
"On Chulak," Teal'c said, "there was a warrior who continued to practice though his wrist was strained. He sought no medical attention, but denied that he was injured in any way. In time, he lost the arm."
"You see?" Jack took Daniel by the shoulders and shook him, trying to get him to wake up and see sense. "You could lose your arm!"
"In fact, Colonel O'Neill, the warrior's arm was cut off by an opponent in battle," Teal'c said, but Jack didn't really pay much attention.
"Carter!" he snapped impatiently. "Look at Daniel's wrist."
Sam came over and looked at Daniel's wrist. "It looks fine to me," she said.
But Jack disagreed. "You're not a real doctor," he said. "People, we're leaving immediately. Dial it up, Carter. Get the equipment, Teal'c."
"I'm fine, Jack," Daniel said, but Jack knew that it was just a brave front for the excruciating suffering that Daniel was going through. He helped Daniel to his feet and over to the Gate.
When they returned, Jack took Daniel right to the infirmary. One of the medics started to look at Daniel, but Jack insisted that Dr Fraiser leave the appendectomy she was performing and come examine Daniel herself.
"Your wrist is slightly strained," she said to Daniel in a voice that was also strained, but more than slightly. She wrapped a tensor bandage around the wrist.
"How long does he need to be off work, Doctor?" Jack said.
"He doesn't," she said. Jack glared at her. "Well, maybe he should be careful about writing too much," she said. Then she left to go finish the appendectomy.
"I can write if I want to," Daniel said, looking stubborn like he often did. It was sort of charming, really, Jack thought, but also frustrating.
"No, you cannot," Jack said gruffly. "And I'm going to see to it!"
"But I like writing!" Daniel's voice was petulant.
Jack's heart almost melted, but he steeled himself. It was for Daniel's own good. He put his arm around Daniel's shoulders and looked down into his sky blue eyes. "I'll take you home," he said, "and make sure you don't use that hand until you're completely well. Remember Teal'c's story!"
In Daniel's apartment, Jack got Daniel settled on the couch with a cup of tea and the remote control. He put on one of Daniel's Buffy DVDs. "Now, just relax and watch while I make you some dinner. Remember to use the remote with your left hand only."
Daniel made a face, but he used his left hand to start up the Buffy episode. Jack went into the kitchen to make the dinner. He opened the refrigerator, but there was no food inside, just a bottle of ketchup. He checked the cupboards, but other than the teabags, a box of salt, and a bottle of whisky, there was nothing there.
"Daniel," Jack called, "why don't you have any food?"
Jack went back into the living room. "Yes, food. What do you eat?"
"Um...I usually forget to buy food. And when I have it, I usually forget to eat it. It's not really that important." Daniel was kind of distracted by Buffy and Angel kissing.
Jack was distressed. No wonder Daniel was so frail. He was not getting proper nourishment. "If I go out to buy food, do you promise to stay on the couch until I get back?"
"Sure, Jack." Daniel looked up at Jack with a boyish smile.
Jack felt a warm wave of affection wash over him and he tousled Daniel's hair before he left. It was like soft silk against his fingertips. Then he went out to the grocery store.
He bought fruit and vegetables and meat and rice and milk and cereal and wine and multivitamins and flour and lots of other things. When he got back, Daniel was still on the couch, but Jack was shocked to see him picking up his cup of tea in his right hand.
"Daniel!" Jack shouted. He raced over and took the tea away. Daniel looked like he'd been scared by the shout and Jack felt badly. "Danny," he said in a much more gentle voice, "you can't use that hand. Let me help you." He lifted the tea cup to Daniel's lips and helped him to drink. He made Daniel drink the whole cup. Tea was good for shock.
Then Jack cooked a big roast beef dinner for him and Daniel. He cut Daniel's beef into little pieces and fed it to him bite by bite. Daniel's azure eyes filled with tears, like two crystal blue pools, and Jack was scared that Daniel's wrist was getting worse. What if Daniel got gangrene?
"Let me give you something for the pain," Jack said, and pulled out some morphine that he had swiped from the infirmary.
"No, Jack," Daniel said and put his hand -- his left hand, Jack was glad to see -- onto Jack's arm. "I'm just so grateful for your kindness to me." Tears began to trickle down Daniel's face.
Jack gently wiped the tears away with a napkin that he had gotten on sale because they had Halloween patterns on them. This one had a black cat and a witch. He began to get tears in his eyes too, but he blinked them back. He felt so much affection for Daniel right then that he got up and gave Daniel a very big hug. Daniel hugged him back. They hugged for almost five minutes, it felt so good.
Then it was time for Daniel to go to bed. Jack gave Daniel a sponge bath and then helped him into his pyjamas. Daniel's skin glowed with a golden light. It was so beautiful that Jack hated to cover it up. But the pyjamas were made of blue silk that exactly matched the electric blue of Daniel's eyes. As Jack looked at Daniel, so helpless and so pretty, he started to think about kissing Daniel.
This kind of surprised Jack, since he wasn't gay. He'd only had three homosexual relationships before this, not enough to be officially gay. He'd been married, for Christ's sake! He definitely wasn't gay.
But that didn't mean he didn't want to kiss Daniel. Anyhow, it didn't really matter, since Daniel wouldn't want to kiss an old grizzled soldier like Jack. Jack had a bad back, a trick knee, arthritis, sinusitis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and he had to get a root canal next week. He was no prize.
Jack tucked Daniel in, then went to leave the bedroom. He'd go sleep on the couch, maybe open that bottle of whisky first. But when he was at the door, he heard Daniel say, "Don't leave, Jack."
Well, there was no way that Daniel would say that unless it was a come-on. Jack went back to the bed and kissed Daniel. Daniel kissed him back. So Jack took off all his clothes and Daniel's pyjamas and they had sex two and half times, all without straining Daniel's wrist any more. Jack's knee went out, but he just took some morphine.
All the sex made Jack realise what he had known all along, deep down: he was in love with Daniel. And he had to tell him. He whispered softly in Daniel's ear, "I love you, Danny."
Daniel turned to look at Jack, his sapphire eyes burning like blue flames. "I love you too, Jack."
Jack could hardly believe it -- they were in love. He wanted to lie awake all night and just feel happy, but the morphine made him really sleepy, so he couldn't. But he and Daniel slept in each other's arms.
In the morning, Jack's arm had lost all feeling from Daniel sleeping on top of it. It took about ten minutes for all the pins and needles to disappear. They had sex again, then Jack made breakfast.
Jack was glad he had arranged a week's leave for both of them. They stayed in and had sex a lot. While they weren't having sex, Daniel watched more Buffy episodes and Jack did chores around the apartment. He sterilized the whole place, since it wasn't quite as clean as he would have liked. And he put in some new kitchen cabinets.
When the week was up, they went back to the base and Dr Fraiser checked Daniel out. His wrist was totally cured. Jack knew it was because of his dedicated nursing.
They met with the rest of SG-1 and General Hammond for a mission briefing. But before the briefing started, Jack made an announcement. "I just thought you all should know," he said, "that Daniel and I are in love." And he put his arm around Daniel's shoulders. Daniel blushed.
"This is against regs," Hammond said. "Are you sure you want to be so open about it?"
Sam looked really shocked. "I'm not sure this is a good idea," she said. She had something in her eye.
"On Chulak," Teal'c said, "there was a warrior who had a sexual relationship with another warrior under his command."
"See?" Jack said. "Teal'c thinks it's fine."
"Actually," Teal'c said, "that warrior became distracted by his lover on a dangerous mission and was captured by the enemy and tortured to death."
But Jack wasn't listening. "We're not going to back down on this," he said. "Are we, Danny?"
Daniel looked around the room. His eyes were as soft and blue as the downy feathers on a baby bluebird, but they were also defiant. He reached up and put his hand over Jack's.
When he saw this, General Hammond knew that Jack and Daniel were truly in love. He quickly gave them his blessing to continue their relationship, even though he could maybe get court-martialed for it and Jack too.
Everyone around the table was happy for them. Sam was crying, she was so happy. Her face was all blotchy and her mascara was running.
Then they went on their mission. While they were on the alien planet, disaster struck! Daniel and Sam were inspecting a hole in the ground when suddenly Daniel fell in! Sam had no idea why it had happened. It was very mysterious.
Daniel had a scrape on his cheek and a small bruise on his knee. Jack took him back to Earth and made Dr Fraiser keep him overnight in the infirmary for observation. Then Jack and Daniel took another week off, while Daniel recovered at home. During the times that they weren't having sex, Jack built an entertainment unit for Daniel's DVDs.
When they got back to work, General Hammond had a big surprise for them. He had asked the President for special permission for Jack and Daniel to date and still work together in the Air Force. When the President heard the touching tale of their true love, he was so moved that he not only gave them permission to have their relationship, he pushed through a bill to make same-sex marriage legal in the whole country!
"On Chulak," Teal'c said, "a warrior got married and I attended the wedding."
Everybody looked at him. "What happened?" Sam asked.
"Nothing," Teal'c said. "I just like weddings."
So Jack and Daniel got married. They invited lots of guests and Teal'c was best man and Sam was bridesmaid. General Hammond gave Daniel away. Sam was crying with happiness some more.
Just before the vows, Thor beamed in and tried to stop the wedding. "Jack belongs with me!" he screamed and attacked Daniel. Sam was between them but she had by chance just dropped her bouquet and moved over to pick it up so Thor had a clear shot. But Jack threw himself in front of his beloved Daniel and took a shot to the chest.
Jack was dead but when Thor realised what he'd done, he brought Jack back to life with a special Asgard medical device.
When he was alive again, Jack talked to Thor in a quiet voice and got him all calmed down. Once Thor accepted that Jack would never love him, he beamed away again, even though Jack had invited him to stay for the whole wedding and reception.
Jack and Daniel said their vows and then they were married! Everyone cheered when they kissed. At the reception, everybody partied all night long. Sam got drunk and nailed both Teal'c and Narim. Also, she stopped crying.
Jack and Daniel took a month-long honeymoon, then Jack got promoted to General and Daniel won a huge academic prize for some research he was doing. They bought a big house and a dog and lots of DVDs for Daniel and were very, very happy.
Then they became pirates.