But I have a responsibility on Earth to my daughter and to the people who risk their lives everyday for me. I could never just drop that and go travel around the galaxy with Luca, no matter how tempting it may have been.
I had to admit though; it was good to be home.
After spending nine days on Valini, the Poverty ridden country of Lamora, then three days held captive by a man desperate for his son to survive, it was nice to be home with Cassie and our dog, Rufus.General Hammond granted me a few days leave, despite my arguments. Colonel O’Neill and Sam both took the General’s side, stating that after my ‘traumatic’ event, I deserved some down time.
I reluctantly agreed.I had tried sleeping, but I couldn’t seem to get away from the ‘What ifs?’ and the ‘Maybe’s’. What if I went with Luca? Where would I be now?
I saved his son, performing minor brain surgery to stop a clot and I knew he was grateful, even if I did deceive him to help the boy.“Forget those Petty rules Janet! Come with us. We can go anywhere Janet!” He had said, and it had been a tempting offer, but I had to decline. Sam had been checking up on me as much as she could; calling when she returned home from a mission. She was worried that I was ‘traumatized’ from my abduction but I assured her many times that, I had been treated well. I was fine.
After a day of that, she seemed to believe me.
But not Daniel.It was Saturday, almost a week since I met Luca. Cassie was at a friend’s house and I was relaxing on the sofa with a romance novel. Ever since my first marriage and the lack of-how should I say this- intimacy between us, I had been a sucker for them. It wasn’t that I never got any; there were plenty of men out there willing to sleep with me. It was just that I didn’t want to come off like a floozy, and besides with my job, I barely got time to do anything between looking after Cassie, saving people from Alien viruses and travelling to other planets.
I drifted off to sleep not five minutes after I closed my eyes.
It couldn’t have been 5 minutes when I was jerked awake from my peaceful sleep by two strong hands wrapped around my arms, a familiar voice calling out to me.“Janet. Janet!” I sat up, my vision swimming and for a moment I closed my eyes, somehow feeling safe in the strong warm arms that held me.
When my vision cleared, I peered up through half lidded eyes, Daniel standing over me with his expression torn between fear and…something else, something unidentifiable.
“Daniel? What are you…what’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“Oh, uh, you were calling out in your sleep. You were calling out for Luca, saying ‘No!’ over and over.” He explained, his voice matching his expression, taking a seat next to me as I moved my feet from the couch.
“Ah…” I looked down at myself, noticing a sheen of sweat covering my body, clinging my clothes to my body and my novel lay discarded on the floor. Suddenly self-conscious, I ran a hand through my hair, tucking the stray strands behind my ear.
“Janet…” Daniel said suddenly, hesitating, grasping my hands in his, the contact sending shivers up my spine and heat to my cheeks. It was ridiculous, really. I was acting like a 13 year old on her first date. In other words, like Cassie when she was younger.
“Yes Daniel?” I asked, scooting in closer to him. He was a sight, I’ll tell you that. He closely resembled a fish as he tried-and failed- to find words.
I couldn’t help as a smile formed on my lips, sensing that I knew what he as going to say.
“I’m fine.” I squeezed his hands reassuringly.
“Did Luca hurt you? I mean did he force you to…” He trailed off and I shook my head confused.
“I don’t know what-”
“Did he force himself onto you?” Daniel cut me off, and I am pretty sure that I was now the one resembling a fish with my mouth wide.
“What made you…I…No! No, Daniel I was well treated and I was not hurt in any way.” I said, scrambling to my feet.
I have no idea what made him think that Luca would do that. I had to remind myself, Daniel didn’t know anything about Luca other than he kidnapped his own son, oh and me as well. I could see why he wouldn’t have a great opinion about him, but I was with the man for 3 days. He was a gentle man-they all were, his people- and only used force when he needed to. He was also very dedicated to his family, his friends and his team.
Come to think of it, Luca was a lot like Daniel. Perhaps that was why I was so attracted to him, even though I knew full well that I shouldn’t have been.
“I am sorry, Janet. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, I just…I am sorry.” Daniel held his head in his hands for a moment as I stood there taking him in.
His eyes had dark rings circling them-well darker than usual- and his clothes were a mess, hurriedly thrown on and uncoordinated.
I could read the genuine worry and guilt in his features, and I made my way over to him, crouching in front of him at eyes level.
“I can see how you might have though that…Daniel, he offered for me to go with Marco and himself on the ‘Savanna’. I was tempted-after all, imagine what I could have done, where I could have gone with them. But I realized that I could do that here as well, and I had an obligation to Earth, and to Cassie. People here need me, and it wouldn’t have been right if I sacrificed their needs for my own.”
“So when you were calling out…” He nodded slowly
“I was dreaming. I told him no; that my daughter, and my planet were more important.”
Daniel looked up laughing briefly, from his hands.
“Everyone else’s needs are more important than your own. That’s what you are always telling Hammond when he tries to give you time off.”
I smiled at him.
“I am glad you stayed, Janet. I thought I wasn’t going to see you ever again. I mean, I had faith in Sam and the others, but what with our line of work, you can never be sure.”
I nodded in understanding.
“I am glad I am back too. Otherwise, who would be the one constantly patching you up after every mission, Dr Jackson?” I teased lightly, the serious mood lifting as he smiled.
“True. Also, who would let me watch as she torments Jack with her foot long needles?” Daniel returned the banter, gently pulling me up onto the couch beside him.
“Well, there is that…”
And for a moment, our eyes locked. It was a cliché, it was corny, but it was real. Something in his demeanor changed, the room suddenly heating several degrees as he lent in closer to me, my heartbeat becoming erratic.
He’s going to kiss me, he’s going to kiss me, he is going to kiss me was all I could think at that moment as his lips neared mine and I closed my eyes meeting him half way until we were but a hairs breadth away.
And the phone chose that precise moment to ring and the spell was broken. Daniel pulled back, blinking in surprise as if he only just realized what we were about to do.
With as much composure as I could find, I jumped to my feet striding over to the cursed, shrilling phone.
“Fraiser.” I barked, maybe a little too harsh because I heard silence for several seconds before Sam answered hesitantly.
“Janet, it’s Sam. I…are you okay?”
Crap, I thought to myself with a sigh.
“Yeah, sorry about that Sam. What can I do for you?”
I watched out of the corner of my eye as Daniel stood, examining some of the photos that lined the mantle piece.
“Well, actually, I was just calling to see if you’re doing okay and to ask if you’d like to come over tonight for a couple of drinks.” Sam asked.
It wasn’t unusual that we would go out together or stay at home to watch movies or talk about…well anything. I don’t know when was the last time I had someone to confide in as I did with Sam. She knew all my secrets, and I knew all of hers.
And as much as I loved our conversations, I had a certain archaeologist, with whom I nearly shared a kiss just moments before, pacing my living room.
“I can’t tonight. I have a visitor and we really need to talk-”
“That’s okay!” She chirped and with Sam, you could tell it was okay. “Well, so I at least get to know this ‘visitor’s name?”
I grinned, feeling my cheeks heat up as I watched Daniel, my eyes skimming over his body.
“I‘ll tell you about it later, I promise.”
Sam agreed, and after making a time to meet up tomorrow in the Mess Hall, we hung up.
I placed the phone back on the receiver, before making my way back over to the sofa where I sat down gingerly. Daniel joined me and for a while, neither of us said anything.
“What is it that you need, Janet?” He broke the silence and I looked at him confused. “Just before, you said that it wouldn’t have been right if you sacrificed their needs for your own. What is it that you need?”
I sighed, tucking my feet under me and I looked at him for a moment, craving to just lean over and kiss him. That is what I need, I thought.
“Do you want the truth?” I asked, although I knew what his answer would be.
I took a deep breath. “I need someone in my life. I mean, I have a fulfilling job, a beautiful daughter and the greatest friends. But I am lonely, Daniel.”
He shook his head, laying his warm hand on my arm.
“Janet, you will never be alone. You will always, no matter what, have me.” His words were so heartfelt, so full of truth that I had to blink back tears.
“Thank you,” I said softly, “but I wish you meant it in the way I meant it.”
“How do you know I didn’t?”
And before I could answer, his lips were grazing against mine softly, his hands cupping my face as he pulls me to him. For a moment, I didn’t move-I couldn’t move but when his tongue glided across my lips, I opened my mouth. His tongue brushed across my gums and my teeth, pressing it to the roof of my mouth, and I shivered with pleasure, threading my fingers through his hair.
I don’t know how long that lasted, but the urge to breathe took over and we pulled back, grinning like giddy teenagers.
His smile slowly faded, but he kept his hands on face and began talking
“Janet, if you let me, I want to be that someone in your life. I know, that for 4 of the 7 years that I have known you, I was trying to find Sha’re, trying to save her. Then for another year, I was grieving for her. But, you have always been there for me, and for the past two years, I have realized that I want to be more than friends with you, Janet.”
I stared at him, my grin only growing bigger.
“And if I let you be that someone, I want you to know, that I am never ever going to try to replace her.”
“So is that a yes then?” Daniel asked, his smile returning.
Sunlight cascaded through the curtains onto the pair that lay tangled in each others arm, sleeping peacefully. Well, one of them was.
Daniel Jackson watched his new found lover as she slept, her chest rising and falling with every precious breath she took. Brown hair cascaded over Janet’s shoulders and face, a strand irritating her nose. Subconsciously, her nose twitched in a ploy to move the hair but to no avail. With a quiet laugh, Daniel lent over, kissing the tip of her nose, pushing the offending hair out of the way.
Janet stirred, slowly opening her eyes to Daniel hovering over her. He seemed to be doing that lately, standing over her as she awoke from sleep.
“Morning,” She said softly, her voice heavy with sleep.
“Hi.” Daniel kissed her nose again, causing his lover to giggle, sliding her hands along Daniel’s bare stomach.
“How did you sleep?” He asked, shivering as Janet’s hands threatened to move lower down his body.
“Mmm,” was her only response, leaning to kiss him passionately. She never seemed to tire of kissing him, of tasting him and the memories of their lovemaking the night before caused her to kiss him harder, rolling over until she sat straddling his waist, her expert fingers flicking over Daniel’s taught nipples.
He caught her by the waist, grinding up against her with a moan. He had had fantasies about Janet before, but in real life, with the golden sunlight cascading over her as she sat on top of him, on hand moving to grip his manhood, her beauty was so intense and obvious that it nearly stole his breath away. Well, that could have also been a result of Janet as she wrapped her hand around him, and began stroking him slowly, deliciously.
It wasn’t long until words were no longer being used, save for the occasional moan which one would assume was supposed to be a moan.
An hour later, the pair lay once again in each others arms, Daniels fingers drawing ancient symbols on Janet’s back. No words needed to be said, because there was nothing to say. Janet had returned from her mission on Valini with an aching heart of what if’s and regrets. And now she lay there, less than a week later in the arms of Daniel Jackson, her body and mind at peace with the world. She didn’t regret not going with Luca, because if she had, she would have never realized that what she needed, what she craved had been in front of her the whole time.
Janet had a sudden realization as she was about to fall asleep again, that she never did ask Daniel why he had been at her house in the first place, but somehow, she didn’t really care.