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A Long Road Home

For those who enjoy my story, A Long Road Home, well...

I've been procrastinating my NaNo today and instead made this graphic.

Clickie to embiggen and all that.



Hope you like it. And since I don't think I've ever posted the fic here, well, here we go again!

A Long Road Home

Author: jackwabbit
Date: 8/9/07
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rated: PG-13 (mild language, adult themes)
Category: AU, I suppose; Daniel/Jack Friendship, Smarm, TINY hint of J/S, Original Characters
Season: Post Ten/Acceptable Risk Storyline
Spoilers: None
Summary: Jack Saves A Young Boy From Himself, and Daniel Comes Home
Disclaimer: Just Playing In The Gateroom. Don’t Mind Me.
Note: This story follows my story “Acceptable Risk”, but can stand alone. All you need to know is that Jack retired to Minnesota and that Daniel was seriously injured in said story, but recovered. Sam, Teal’c, and Daniel are still on SG-1.

Kyle Rogers missed.

He was a good player.

He rarely missed.

But this time, he did. Badly. Not only did he miss, he fell in his attempt to score.

When his ungainly slide across the ice ended with a dull thud against the boards, he scrambled to his feet quickly, hoping against hope that no one had seen his accident. His cheeks burned with embarrassment, and he kept his eyes downward for a moment.

Later, as the game ended, his shoulders slumped in dejection as he skated toward his team’s box.

His missed shot had cost his team the win.

The opposing goalie sneered at him as he passed. “Nice shot, freakazoid.”

Kyle didn’t bother to look back. He was used to the jeers of friends and enemies alike. He’d lived as a foster kid, bouncing around from family to family, for most of his life, and it seemed he never quite fit in.

Three years ago, he’d thought that was going to change.

He’d been adopted by a middle class couple with an average home and average jobs.

He was their only child. He knew he’d gotten very lucky to be adopted as a eight year old. It didn’t take long in foster care to learn that only little babies left forever.

But Kyle’s adoptive parents were one of those rare couples who had wanted an older child. They had visited Kyle in foster care many times before making their decision and getting approved to adopt him. Their visits had always been fun for Kyle, but he was still amazed the day his social worker told him, with tears in her eyes, that the Rogers were adopting him. His new parents were very kind to Kyle, and seemed to truly care for him. Kyle was happy with them.

Sometimes, though, Kyle woke up in the middle of the night, overcome with panic at when this dream would end. He knew his adoptive parents would get tired of him eventually and dump him back into the foster care program. He’d seen it happen too many times to think he was in the clear.

Nothing good lasted for long, it seemed. Kyle knew the proverbial other shoe was hanging on by a thread, waiting to drop when he least expected it.

Because of his fears, Kyle tried to be a model child. But sometimes he didn’t know what was expected of him. Sometimes he made mistakes. School wasn’t easy for Kyle, and although he made good grades, he got into trouble with the other kids often.

He didn’t mean to. It just sort of happened. He’d been so proud when he first came to Brainerd to live with the Rogers that he told everyone who would listen that he had been adopted. Where he came from, getting adopted was the best thing that could happen to anyone. It was like having the coolest toy on the planet or winning the lottery. It was a ticket to freedom and a chance at a normal life.

Kyle hadn’t realized that outside of foster care, being adopted was not a source of pride.

The other children in his school teased him mercilessly about it.

They called him ‘unwanted’.

They called him a ‘reject’.

They called him ‘freak’ and ‘loser’ and said things like ‘even your mama didn’t want you’.

Sometimes Kyle just couldn’t take it anymore, and that’s when he lashed out.

When he lashed out, other kids got hurt.

Kyle was small for his age, but he’d lived in homes filled with violence and rage and older kids strung out on drugs from the age of three, when his parents and kid sister had been killed in a car crash.

He knew how to survive.

He fought dirty. He did what he had to do to win any fight.

The first time he bit another kid in school, he thought it was over. He knew beyond doubt that he was going to get shipped right back to the children’s home or off to military school or something.

He didn’t.

Kyle had been blown away by his new parents understanding and gentleness and the disappointment that he’d seen in their eyes that day had hurt him more than a hundred beatings ever could. He was old enough to know what these people were doing for him, and he knew he shouldn’t cause trouble for them.

The problem was, trouble always seemed to come looking for him.

The first time he continued to beat another student after he was unconscious, the therapy started.

It didn’t work.

Kyle knew his adoptive parents were frustrated.

So was he.

But nothing seemed to help. Sometimes, he just couldn’t control his anger when other kids started in with their taunts. The things they said were awful.

The adults knew what the others said, and they tried to tell Kyle to ‘just ignore them’ and to ‘let it go’, but it was just so damned difficult.

They didn’t have to hear the insults every day. They didn’t understand what it was like to have the school bully yank your underwear to your ears everyday just because he could.

Kyle cried many tears at night when he thought about having to face school the following day.

He sometimes wished he could just make it all go away.

He sometimes wished he could go to another school or move far away, where no one would know his dirty little secret of being adopted.

The Rogers had looked into private school for Kyle, but they couldn’t afford it. The Rogers were a nice couple, and they lived comfortably, but there was little extra to spend.

Kyle often heard the middle aged pair talking late at night in the kitchen when they thought he was sleeping. They would argue about him, about money, and about what they could try next to straighten their child out.

It was on these nights that Kyle seriously thought of running away.

He didn’t want to cause any fights or ruin the lives of these fine people who had given him a chance when no one else would.

He always stayed, though, and afterwards he always managed to stay out of trouble for a while.

Things would get better, and smiles would come more easily to the little family.

And then Kyle would blow it again.

Nothing seemed to control his anger at his classmates.

The teachers would tell him that the other boys were just using words and that ‘words would never hurt him’, but nothing could have been further from the truth.

Words were the only weapons the other children needed, and they were powerful ones.

Words were going to cost Kyle his home.

Frank Rogers, Kyle’s adoptive father, tried to get Kyle interested in sports to channel his aggression into something positive. Frank had played basketball and baseball growing up, and he often goaded Kyle into those games.

Kyle didn’t like them, and wasn’t very good at them.

He couldn’t make himself be interested in them, so Frank’s attempt failed miserably.

Sports, it seemed, were not the solution.

Frank resigned himself to finding another way to control his wayward son.

He did love the boy, and wanted nothing more than for Kyle to learn to control himself, if only to find the happiness he so deserved after so much heartbreak had contorted his young life into a type of emotional prison.

But nothing seemed to work.

Nothing, that is, until Kyle discovered hockey.

XXX

It had started simply enough.

A short trip to the mall had ended with Frank’s wife, JoAnn, wistfully watching the ice skaters on the community rink in the shopping arcade. She was so distracted as she walked by them that she walked right into a man leaning on the rail of the rink.

“Oh! Excuse me,” she stammered.

The man turned to face her with a grin on his handsome face. “No problem.”

JoAnn stepped away from the stranger, embarrassed. She rejoined her husband and son, who had drifted a bit away from her as she walked. As she reached them, she cast a longing glance over her shoulder at the ice. The stranger had turned back around and was casually watching the skaters again.

Frank snorted a laugh at his wife before speaking.

“Honey, if you want to skate for a bit, just go. Us boys can find something to do, right, Kyle?’

Kyle nodded absently. “Sure.”

JoAnn seemed torn. “Are you sure? It’s a little late. We should probably go.”

Frank smiled at his wife in understanding. “JoAnn, you haven’t skated in years. If you want to play for a bit, go ahead. And here’s an idea. Why not take Kyle with you? You ever been ice skating, Kyle?”

Kyle’s eyes grew wide and he shook his head violently. He looked a little scared. He didn’t want to make an idiot of himself in front of all these people, and he was pretty sure this ice skating thing wasn’t easy.

Frank nodded then, as if making a decision. “Well, that settles it, then. We’ll all go.”

JoAnn beamed at her husband and hurried off to stuff their purchases in a locker near the rink.

Two hours later, Frank was nursing a twisted ankle from the stands near the little rink, but Kyle and JoAnn were still skating blissfully on the ice.

JoAnn had learned to figure skate as a young girl, and while she hadn’t skated in forever, she still had the grace and beauty of a dancer on the ice.

At first, she had helped Kyle to glide across the frozen water, but it was soon evident that he didn’t need her help. While Frank was an uncoordinated mess on the ice, Kyle was a natural.

Kyle sped across the rink with reckless abandon. He fell a few times when his speed got the best of him, but he always bounced right back up with a grin on his face. JoAnn would make sure he was alright, then laugh with him. Frank watched the boy with admiration and felt the warm glow of contentment fill his chest. This was a moment he had wanted when he and JoAnn had decided to adopt a child. They couldn’t have children of their own, and Frank had very much wanted to watch a new soul discover the world on its own. They’d chosen an older child because an infant didn’t make sense for their busy lifestyles.

Suddenly, all the struggles with Kyle seemed worth it. Frank found himself smiling wider. He lost himself in his musings for what could have been minutes or days. Suddenly his thoughts were interrupted by a rough voice next to him.

“You ever think of letting him play hockey?”

Frank’s head whipped around, looking for the source of the voice.

He found it quickly. The stranger JoAnn had bumped into earlier was sitting in the stands, too. He was watching the skaters with an expression of mingled awe and regret. Several bags were tucked into the seats next to him, indicating he’d gone shopping and returned to the rink. Frank looked at the stranger in confusion for a moment before responding.

“What?”

The stranger nodded toward the ice. “The kid’s a natural skater, and he sure seems to be enjoying himself.”

Frank blinked three times at the stranger before speaking, slightly defensively.

“How do you know he doesn’t already play?”

The stranger looked a bit chagrined. “Overheard you earlier. The boy’s never skated before. Although how you managed that in Minnesota, I have no idea.”

Frank snorted a bit. “Well, we’re all a bit new to the area.”

The stranger nodded. “Understand that. I grew up near here, but I’ve been gone a long time. So, I’m new too, in a way.”

Frank noted that as the stranger spoke, his eyes grew a little misty. Something suddenly occurred to him. Frank had seen the same look in his wife’s eyes too many times to not recognize it.

“Hey. Let me ask you something. Why are you sitting here watching the rink? You look pretty fit and it’s obvious you want to be out there. Why aren’t you skating?”

The stranger snorted a derisive laugh. “Not as young as I used to be. Knee’s killing me today. Can’t skate much anymore.”

“I’m sorry,” said Frank, and he meant it. He could tell that ice ran in this man’s veins, and he didn’t mean that in any kind of negative way.

“It’s ok,” the stranger replied in a nonchalant way, but Frank wasn’t buying it.

The two men fell silent then for several long minutes. Frank’s mind began to drift again, but he was startled out of his reverie for a second time by the same gruff voice.

“Well,” said the stranger, “I’ve got to go. It was nice talking with you, and I meant it about the kid. You should look into it. He’s good.”

Frank looked skeptically up at the now standing stranger, who was gathering his bags.

“I don’t know. Kyle’s got some problems…and…I don’t know…hockey is an expensive sport.”

The stranger looked down on Frank then, and something in his eyes seemed to melt. The tall man smiled a sad little smile and was silent for a moment before speaking softly.

“Well, if he wants to play, and you think it’s ok, I know some folks who could help out…just look me up.”

The stranger rummaged in his pockets for a moment, finally fishing out a small scrap of paper. He took a pen from another pocket and scribbled something down on the paper, then handed it to Frank.

Frank looked down at the slip for a moment, almost amused at what he saw there. His conversation with the stranger no longer seemed surreal and more than a little odd. Now everything made sense.

Challengers Junior Hockey Club
218-557-6804

The stranger spoke again as he turned to leave.

“Just ask for Jack.”

Frank nodded then started to stand to shake the man’s hand in a proper good-bye, but the stranger merely smiled wider.

“Easy, there, friend. Gotta rest that ankle. Trust me.”

Then the stranger turned and was gone.

Frank looked down at the paper scrap in his hand as JoAnn and Kyle began to skate to the rink exit. The mall was closing. Frank had no idea it had gotten so late.

Frank put the phone number in his wallet and promptly forgot about it.

XXX

Kyle did not stop talking for two days.

He jabbered on about figure skating, hockey, ice dancing, ice in general, curling, and anything else even remotely related to gliding on ice like an auctioneer on stimulants.

He checked out every book in the school library on ice skating.

He used his precious computer time to look up information on hockey.

He nearly drove Frank and JoAnn crazy with his incessant babbling and his single-mindedness, but despite their annoyance, they were actually quite enjoying seeing Kyle excited about something. School and the sports he had so far tried since coming to live with the Rogers had not struck a chord with Kyle, so his exuberance was contagious.

It wasn’t until JoAnn spoke quietly to the ceiling in bed on the third night after Kyle’s first foray onto the ice that Frank remembered the paper in his wallet.

“You know…maybe we should look into a peewee hockey league for Kyle. He might really like it.”

Frank had reservations. “Jo, honey, I don’t know…hockey is such a violent sport, and a kid like Kyle…”

JoAnn interrupted. “It’s just what a kid like Kyle needs, Frank! You’ve said it yourself a hundred times before! He needs something to channel all that aggressive energy into!”

Frank nodded in the dark. “I know, but…hockey? I don’t know anything about hockey, and it’s an expensive game, and…”

JoAnn interrupted again. “Frank, I don’t care how much it costs. If it will help Kyle, I’ll do whatever it takes. Do you understand me? That boy has had enough hurt in his life to justify every negative action he’s ever taken. He deserves to be happy.”

“I know, Jo, but…”

JoAnn sighed. “Let’s just ask him what he thinks, ok?”

Frank nodded in the dark again. “Ok.”

XXX

To say that Kyle’s reaction to the idea of playing hockey was joyous would be woefully inadequate. His shout of ‘YOU MEAN IT?!?’ could be heard in the next county, and he knocked his chair over in his hurry to throw both arms around his parents in pure delight when they announced their idea at breakfast the next day.

XXX

Over his lunch break that afternoon, Frank Rogers pulled a small piece of ragged paper from his wallet.

As he dialed the number on the paper, he felt silly. Surely the stranger from the ice rink didn’t actually expect a call. He couldn’t be held to his words the other night.

When a smooth female voice with a strong Minnesotan accent answered the phone on the second ring, Frank hesitated.

“Challenger’s Hockey.”

Frank found his voice after only a second. “Uh, hi. Is someone named Jack there?”

Frank could nearly hear the smile in the voice when his question was answered. “Oh, ya. He’s around here somewhere. Let me find him for ya, sweetie. Hold on.”

The woman either forgot to push hold, or there was no hold to push, because Frank next heard the scuffling noises of the phone being set on a desk, then a door being opened. Voices in the background muttered something like ‘down on the ice’ and ‘I’ll get him’.

The cheerful woman came back then and brightly gave Frank an update. “Hang on, hon. He’ll be here in a jiffy.”

Frank thanked the woman and waited.

It was only a minute before the same rough voice from the mall came over the line.

“Hello?”

“Uh…hi…is this Jack?”

“Speaking.”

“Um…hello…you might not remember me, but we met the other night at the ice rink.”

The rough voice instantly came alive.

“Oh, hey! Kyle’s dad! How ya doin’?”

Frank was flabbergasted that the stranger remembered him.

“Uh…ok. Listen. I was just wondering if you meant what you said…about Kyle?”

“And him playing hockey?”

“Yeah.”

“Absolutely.”

“Well, we’ve talked about it, and we think it’s a good idea.”

XXX

The rest, as they say, is history.

Kyle Rogers had played peewee hockey for Coach O’Neill for two years now.

He was a good student.

He rarely got into fights in school anymore.

He even had a few close friends, which was a first for him.

He still had his dark times, and sometimes he still lost his temper, but usually when he was tempted to lash out at another kid (or even an adult), he remembered that if he fought, he lost hockey privileges for a week.

Sometimes that meant missing a game. His parents never wavered on this. Fighting meant no hockey, so for Kyle Rogers fighting was right out almost one hundred percent of the time.

He’d missed a game because of this rule in the middle of his first season playing for Coach O’Neill. He’d expected his coach to be angry with his parents for taking a player away from him, but Coach Jack had merely looked at Kyle at the next practice and asked him a simple question.

“Was it worth it?”

Kyle hadn’t expected the question, and the appraising look his coach had given him had made him very uncomfortable.

He’d looked up guiltily at his coach and muttered a definite answer.

“No.”

Jack had nodded then and spoke evenly. He wasn’t even a little bit mad, but his words had stuck with Kyle better than any impassioned ravings every could. “Well, guess you’d better think about that next time, huh?”

Hockey had saved Kyle’s life, or at least made it bearable for him and his parents.

Kyle seemed very much a ‘normal’ boy now.

But sometimes the darkness came back. Every now and then, Kyle still felt like no one wanted him around. And tonight was one of those times. He felt as if he’d let everyone down, and made a fool of himself in the process. He wanted the ice to open up and swallow him whole so he wouldn’t have to face his teammates or his coach.

At least his parents hadn’t seen his failure.

Frank and JoAnn couldn’t make it to every game with their work schedules, but Kyle didn’t mind. He knew that was how the world worked. One of the other parents or Coach Jack would give him a lift when he needed one.

His coach was up for chauffer duty tonight, but that was fine by Kyle. Coach Jack was usually very quiet and didn’t push when things went wrong, which Kyle appreciated.

After listening to Coach O’Neill’s short post-game talk, which included plenty of phrases like ‘we’ll get them next time’ and ‘we played a good game’, Kyle found a quiet corner of the locker room to change. None of his teammates seemed particularity upset about their loss, but Kyle imagined every eye was glaring into his back.

He waited until all the other kids had left before sneaking out of the locker room. He knew Coach Jack would wait for him near the exit, as he always did when he had to drive players home.

As he neared the door tonight, though, Kyle didn’t see his coach. For a second, he panicked, and his head began to swivel around the small arena. His eyes panned back and forth, searching frantically for his ride and security. As much as he liked hockey, Kyle found empty ice arenas a little creepy, and he didn’t want to be alone.

It took only a moment for Kyle to find his coach and calm down. He took a deep breath and began walking toward where Jack was talking to another man. As Kyle drew closer to the pair, he realized he’d seen the other man before. Not often, but he’d seen him.

It was the man who came to watch.

He was no one’s parent or relative. None of the kids knew him. They had all noticed him, though, and he was the inspiration for all kinds of suburban legends.

Some said he was the zamboni guy, but everyone knew that was old Mr. Feldman.

Some said he was the janitor, but his sharp clothes said that was false.

Some said he was just a harmless hockey fan, but the fact that he never showed up until late in the game and then snuck out before it was over belied that.

A few said he was an escaped convict, or a murderer, or other equally sinister things. The scar that ran across the left side of his forehead had a thousand imagined sources, each more unbelievable and more terrifying than the last.

Kyle, like all the kids, was a little afraid of the man, but if Coach Jack was talking to him, Kyle figured he couldn’t be all bad. He slowly crept toward the men, silently. Before long he could hear their conversation, but they did not notice him.

“It’s been a while.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.”

“It’s ok. I know you’re busy.”

“Yeah.”

“How’s everyone?”

“Fine. Sam got hit on our last mission, but she’s ok.”

Coach Jack seemed to stiffen at these last words, and even Kyle could tell he was upset.

The stranger repeated his assurances.

“She’s alright, Jack.”

Jack swallowed once and relaxed. “Wondered why I hadn’t heard from her.”

The scarred man snorted. “Please. It’s not like you two have regular patterns of communication. You see each other what, a few times a month?”

Jack gave a little patronizing nod. “If that. I know we aren’t exactly typical, but it works for us.”

Another snort answered this. “You can say that again.”

“I know we aren’t exactly…”

“Don’t be an ass, Jack.”

Jack laughed then. It was a deep full body laugh, and even as he heard it, Kyle realized that while he saw Coach Jack happy often, he had never heard this laugh. Kyle couldn’t say what it was, but something about this laugh was different-it seemed to come from somewhere deep.

The other man was laughing, too, and it was the same type of laugh.

Kyle knew he was intruding on something private, but he couldn’t bring himself to announce his presence. The darkness of the arena and the steepness of the bleachers hid him from view.

When Jack regained his composure, he spoke first.

“God, I’ve missed you, Daniel.”

Kyle’s heart leaped in his chest. He knew the stranger’s name! Man, the other kids be so jealous when they found out about this!

Daniel began to respond, but in his excitement Kyle had kicked his shin into a bleacher hard enough to hurt, and he cursed without thought.

“Dammit!”

Jack’s head spun around toward the noise.

The stranger spoke. “Looks like we’ve got company.”

Coach Jack recognized Kyle immediately and waved him forward. After a second’s hesitation, Kyle complied, looking nervously at Daniel. “It’s ok. This is Kyle. Kyle, meet Daniel. Daniel, Kyle.”

Kyle nodded nervously. “Hi.”

The one called Daniel looked kindly down at Kyle and nodded politely. “Hello, Kyle.”

Jack stepped in again. “Daniel, I have to run Kyle home tonight. Would you mind sticking around for a bit? We could grab a bite to eat after?”

Daniel nodded. “Why don’t I just go with you? We can pick up my car after dinner.”

“Sounds good. Ok with you, Kyle? Daniel’s an old friend of mine. He hasn’t been up to visit in a while, so we’d like to catch up. Do you mind?”

Kyle shook his head. He didn’t trust himself to speak just yet. He had a tendency to be shy around strangers, especially those who had such a strange history.

Fifteen minutes later, Jack and Daniel were talking easily in the front seat of Jack’s truck while Kyle sat in back.

When the conversation lulled a bit, Daniel turned to Kyle.

“So, Kyle, I’ve noticed you’re a pretty good hockey player. How long have you been playing?”

Kyle sat up straighter, proud. “This is only my second season.”

Daniel’s eyebrows hit his hairline. “Really? How’d you manage that here in the great hockeyland of Minnesota? I figured you’d been playing since before you could walk.”

Kyle squirmed in his seat. “Well, I haven’t lived here all my life. I moved here when…”

Kyle’s voice trailed off, and he became unsure of himself. For a moment he thought about making up some reason for his move here other than the truth, but he knew Coach Jack would know it was a lie. He looked up at his coach and caught an encouraging nod in the rearview mirror. He sat up straight again.

“I moved here when I got adopted.”

The effect of Kyle’s words on Daniel was immediate and profound. The man’s body spun around in its seat and his eyes riveted on Kyle’s face. His mouth split into a beaming grin, and when he spoke his voice was higher than it had been and the words came very fast. He looked and sounded very much like a small child.

“Really? You got adopted? And only two years ago? You’re what, ten? That is so cool!”

The boy stared at the man in shock. Kyle’s hazel eyes met Daniel’s blue ones and held them for a full five seconds. Finally, Kyle thought he should answer.

“It’s been three years, and I just turned eleven.”

Daniel nodded slowly. “Sorry. Still…that is so awesome.”

Kyle’s brow furrowed as he looked at the mysterious man in front of him. No one had ever reacted this way to Kyle’s news that he was adopted before.

The only time anyone had been excited about adoption had been in foster care.

And suddenly Kyle’s young brain clicked. Had this grown man in front of him, with his long scar, been a foster kid? Kyle had a hard time picturing that, but the man confirmed it a moment later with a whispered admission.

“I never was.”

Jack O’Neill continued to drive in silence toward Kyle’s house. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing next to and behind him. He never knew Daniel had wanted to be adopted.

In a gesture surprising for his age, Kyle laid a hand on Daniel’s arm then. He softly asked a one word question that Daniel seemed to understand fine.

“Older?”

Daniel nodded. “Eight.”

Kyle closed his eyes as if he was in pain nodded back. “I was three. Car crash.”

Daniel nodded again. “No one left?”

“Nope.”

“I had a grandfather, but he didn’t want me.”

“Ouch.”

“Yeah. I used to wish that he would either take me or give me up…”

“Neither one?”

“Nope.”

Jack’s eyes had long since grown misty as he listened to this coded conversation between a man and a boy who seemed so different but were really very much the same. He stayed silent and kept his slightly out of focus eyes on the road ahead. Kyle wasted no time sharing his opinion of Nick.

“Damn. That blows. Bastard.”

No one in the truck thought to correct Kyle’s language.

Daniel shrugged. “It’s ok. I understand now.”

Kyle thought for a moment before speaking again. “So, it goes away then?”

Daniel nodded. “Mostly. It must. We both look like we’re doing ok.”

Kyle smiled, then nodded back. “Yeah, I guess we are, huh?”

Suddenly, a missed hockey goal seemed much less important. Kyle glanced out the window behind Daniel as Jack’s truck slowed. He noticed a familiar streetlamp, then saw his mom waving from the front porch. She had just gotten in from work and was waiting on her son.

Kyle awkwardly looked back at Daniel, who was nodding slightly in agreement with Kyle’s question. After a second, Kyle spoke with the simplicity of the young. “Well, I’m home now.”

Daniel grinned back. “Yes, you are.”

Daniel’s eyes flicked over to the driver’s seat briefly, but Kyle was gathering his things and missed the gesture. The words the archeologist next said didn’t make sense to Kyle that night, but when he was older he would come to understand them quite well. He would understand them when he realized that most things in life aren’t tangible and the really important things don’t even exist in the physical realm.

But for tonight, a smiling eleven year old boy merely cocked his head to one side in puzzlement and filed the words away with the rest of the incredible conversation he’d had with a stranger tonight for replaying in his mind later.

“You’re home, Kyle…and so am I.”

Later that night, Daniel Jackson would fall asleep on the living room floor of Jack’s cabin while watching television. Jack O’Neill, firmly ensconced on the couch and hogging every bit of it, would follow him in slumber about an hour later. One arm would be dangling off the couch when he did. One long fingered hand would rest lightly on the shoulder of the man on the floor.

Daniel would wake in the middle of the night, stiff and sore from sleeping on the hard wooden surface. Despite his discomfort, he wouldn’t get up and go to the bedroom. He would merely steal a pillow from Jack, shift his position on the floor, and fall comfortably back asleep with Jack’s hand still resting on his back.

After all, home wasn’t always without discomfort, but it was always home.

And there was a lot to be said for home.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
oneofaradia
Nov. 16th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
I like the banner! And I don't think I've ever read that story so going to go do so now *grins and skips happily off to read some much needed Stargate*
jackwabbit
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
If you want the whole kit and kaboodle for this story arc, do these.

Acceptable Risk**/A Long Road Home**/Intuition**

I will warn you, though, that Acceptable Risk is a bit graphic on the whumping and contains a bit more J/S ship at the very end than some are comfortable with and that Intuition is ridiculously, embarrassingly shippy for Jack/Sam. I frankly can't believe I wrote it. That said, it is not sugar. You will not get diabetes reading it, that's for sure. But it is more shippy than anything I've ever written. You have been warned. Note that I gave no warnings for A Long Road Home. I love that story like a child.
oneofaradia
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I can't wait to dive into these and to be honest, a bit of J/S doesn't bother me every once in a while...provided I trust the writer which in this case I do *grin*

And now that the last load of laundry is done, and I have a nice glass of coke and southern comfort I'm going to grab my blankie and curl up to read
jackwabbit
Nov. 16th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)
Oh, goodie! You'll be drinking! Then you can forgive an inexperienced writer a few flaws. I was young when I wrote these! Not a baby, but only a child. Do be kind. (It's been ages since I read these...I may have to join you...but not tonight!)
gemsong
Nov. 16th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Loved this. Glad to know I'm not the only NaNo-Procrastinator. :D
jackwabbit
Nov. 16th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. It's special to me for a lot of reasons, and I like that others like it, too.

As for the other thing: No. You are not.

I finished on Nov 17 last year (and even better the work was complete), but this year...I dunno...I feel like I'm writing just to write. Not excited about it, despite the fact that I'm attempting to write a very old plot bunny that keeps nagging me.

I'm seriously considering dropping out, which is very not like me, but for now I'm still plugging along.

Hang in there!
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