SEASON/SPOILERS: Season 9 “Collateral Damage”
“C’mon Daniel, let me in!” Cameron’s fist pounded against the heavy oak.
He heard the unlocking mechanism of the bolt two doors down, and a little old lady peered through the six inches of space that her safety chain allowed. Her squinting glare landed on Cameron quickly, showing her displeasure of having to see who was making such a ruckus outside on her apartment floor.
“Daniel!” Cameron shouted once more, shaking his head in frustration. “Open the door Doctor Jackson, I’m creating a scene.”
He got ready to bang on the door once again when he heard the loud click of Daniel’s lock being released, echoing through the hallway by it’s incredible acoustics. Cameron waved goodbye to the old woman as the door in front of him was finally opened.
Daniel left his unwanted guest in the front entrance to his apartment, not really wanting any company, but also not wanting Mrs. Stanley reporting the intrusion to the building manager. The six-story apartment building was very quiet, with little interaction amongst neighbors and any disturbance was unwelcome. The last thing Daniel wanted was to be thrown out because his team’s commanding officer wouldn’t respect his privacy. He walked across his living room floor and stood with his arms wrapped around his chest tightly and watched as Cameron walked timidly through the main entrance and into his living area.
He was pissed, and Cameron damn well knew it.
Cameron opened his mouth to beg forgiveness, offer a pound of flesh, anything that would even the score between the two of them, anything that would erase the disappointment that was so clearly etched across Daniel’s face. But instead of I’m sorry or I’ll do anything the words, “I can explain,” reverberated through his vocal cords before he fully realized he spoke out loud.
“No need,” Daniel insisted, while readjusting the grip his arms had around his chest.
“It’s not what you think,” Cameron tried, though winced as it rarely bode well between couples once those words were ever uttered.
Daniel nodded then began to pace the small confined area on his side of the room. “It’s simple really. You confused hero worshipping with sexual attraction.” Daniel’s face marred with a self-deprecating smile. “Your feelings for me – and for the rest of SG-1 I might add – manifested from the hundreds of mission reports that you were so intent on studying.” His arms flew out to his sides, the left hand nearly colliding with the nearby lamp, though he was far from caring. “You think you know us!”
Cameron lifted both hands, palms out, trying to calm Daniel so that he would listen to reason, but his tirade was far from over.
“Then your heterosexuality kicked in at the most inopportune moment. You got this large beacon of a reminder off world that you’re not all that attracted to men! The SGC is a male dominated civilization, and I guess it’s normal to find yourself curious of your fellow man when there’s hardly an available woman in sight for weeks, sometimes months on end. I suppose familiarity-”
“Look, Daniel, I gotta interrupt, ‘cause you’re way off the mark.”
“Well then, please do explain how else you could throw away the beginnings of a beautiful friendship for some alien – slut!”
“Dr. Varrick was not a slut,” Cameron warned. It might have been a colossal mistake to have had any intimate interaction with her, but she was still a good person. “And as you’ve pointed out, Doc, I’ve read most of SG-1’s mission reports and had come to the conclusion long ago that alien flings are nothing but dangerous. The last thing I want found in my record is a KIA statement due to alien VD.”
“Then what the hell happened, Colonel?” Daniel asked, shaking from both rage and hurt feelings. It’s not the first time in Daniel’s life that he found himself dumped, but it certainly was on for the books. A month ago he told Cameron that he was fully convinced they were dating, since more oft than not it was Cameron’s ID flashing across his phone’s LED screen. He saw more movies in the short span of their friendship than he had in the past eight years, hell he wound up going bowling for the first time since college. Cameron’s thirst for enjoying every minute of the day was infectious, so they spent most of their free time together.
A month ago Daniel accused him of courting, and was thoroughly shocked when Cameron never denied it. A week ago there weren’t any movies left worth seeing at the theatres, so they rented instead. One thing lead to another, and Daniel woke up the next morning to bare arms wrapped around his bare stomach and hot breath puffing against his neck as last night’s guest snored softly behind him.
“You have to understand that the memory Reya implanted felt real, and it still does feel real. I have to keep reminding myself that I never met her before our mission, but the memory is very very persistent.” Cameron shrugged his shoulders. “And that’s where the problem lies.”
Cameron smiled, otherwise he’d probably have teared up out of frustration. “It turns out that the Emissary had feelings for the good doctor.”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “And? So? Therefore?”
“Just – listen,” Cameron demanded, determined that Daniel would see reason. “In the memory I was given, I’m visiting Reya’s house late at night, she’s already dressed for bed.”
“The Emissary fiddled with her robe. Don’t you see?” Cameron begged. “It was discreet, probably something that neither had even realized was part of the recorded memory.” Cameron closed his eyes and relived the moment once more. “He was harbouring feelings for her that he wouldn’t admit to and they were imprinted and delivered into my long-term memory along with everything else.”
When Cameron opened his eyes Daniel was standing so close, his eyes wide with realization. He always marveled how silently the archeologist could move with ease.
“Oh my god.” Daniel took off his glasses and rubbed at his tired eyes. “You’re telling me that machine can make you love someone?”
“Maybe not love,” Cameron explained, “But the feelings I did get were strong.” He closed the last breadth of space that hung between them. “It took me a while to figure out why my feelings for her were nearly instantaneous. One moment I was seeing just another pretty face and the next she was – a rush of pure unadulterated lust.”
Cameron dared to lift his hand to Daniel’s bicep, smoothing out the cotton fabric of his t-shirt with his thumb. “I should have realized sooner what was going on, I’m really sorry.”
Daniel hoped that Cameron was telling the truth, that he was sorry, but he couldn’t trust himself to let it go so soon. Cameron should have been stronger, damn it.
“I’m not asking you to forgive me,
For a moment Daniel stood stiffly, his mind running through feelings of betrayal and distrust. Slowly he returned the hug, his hands splayed across Cameron’s muscular back. The fact was, Daniel couldn’t tell why he acted so unprofessionally on their last mission, but for now, he was willing to give Cameron the benefit of the doubt.
“I don’t need this relationship,” Daniel stated.
Cameron held on more tightly. “I know.”
“You’re the one that pushed this – thing,” Daniel continued. “You convinced me to try us out.”
“Don’t screw up again, or you’ll go head first through the wrong end of an open wormhole,” Daniel vowed.
Cameron chuckled, relieved in being given that second chance. “You got it.”
** The End **
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