SEASON/SPOILERS: Season 9 “Ex Deus Machina”
AUTHOR’S NOTES: I would like to thank Pie for the wonderful Wall she did for this series.
PART 3: I Can Do That!
Daniel took a deep breath; somehow it was satisfying to take a walk under the sun and enjoy the view outside the mountain. That was as far as he could go without having Vala nearby. All good things come to an end, and he decided it was time to return to his office. On his way back, he noticed he had a voice mail on his cellular. He dialed to hear it, and there it was: a message from Jack.
“Hey, Daniel. Just wanted to check how you’re doing…Nothing urgent…just…ya know.”
He smiled, wiggled his head amusingly, and kept walking. Once in the elevator, the archaeologist started to make a mental check list of all the things he needed to do. When the door opened, he peaked out cautiously, checking that Vala wasn’t around, then he kept going toward his office. Suddenly, he heard her voice.
She was talking to one of the guards. Well actually, she was flirting. Nothing new about that.
Daniel swiftly turned around and went to his headquarters instead.
Once inside he thought how tired he was about the whole linking between Vala and himself. He just wanted it to end. He felt trapped and couldn’t see a way out of it. He pinched the bridge of his nose and massaged it with his fingers, then he lay on the bed and tried to rest, but his mind wouldn’t give up.
He tried to think about a way to rush out the effects the bracelets had left on Vala and him. He rolled to his left, and kept thinking. He was grateful that Mitchell had been so supportive on getting him in contact with Arios.
Of course, Daniel appreciated that. Teal’c had taken a break
from his duties on Dakara to join them on the search for a solution to sever
the link, but somehow he’d expected the help of his
The civilian closed his eyes and thought about Cameron walking next to him in that leather outfit. Damn, the Colonel looked good. As a matter of fact, the man looked good on any occasion. The archaeologist rolled on his back and turned to his right, when he felt something in his pocket bothering him. He reached for the offending item and pulled it out…his cellular.
He opened his eyes and stared at it, surprised with himself.
Jack had called and he hadn’t rushed to call back!
He looked at the ceiling and absently flipped the top part of his cellular, thinking he had just done what only a year ago seemed impossible to do: he had gotten over Jack O’Neill.
He had spent weeks without giving a thought to his former lover.
That realization took him by surprise. Not even when he was ascended he had stopped thinking about Jack.
Now that it had been a while since he’d got this voice mail, he was pondering whether to call Jack or not.
The archaeologist continued flipping his cellular, staring at the ceiling and bemused at the thought that he’d received a message from Jack O’Neill and hadn’t run to return it. He hadn’t done it on purpose. This time he had just listened to the message, hung up and hadn’t called back.
‘How did it happen? I’d never have thought it would happen this way… I would never have thought it would happen at all! I’m over Jack!!!’
He decided that his mind finally overpowered his heart. If he could, he would high five himself.
What a difference it made. He thought about the times after he came back from ascension. He’d noticed that he’d felt really close to his teammates, but the attraction to Jack had been different. He now smiled, thinking how nervous he’d felt around the leader of SG1.
Once he’d regained his memories from his corporeal life, Daniel had decided to give a relationship with Jack a try. Obviously he hadn’t complained of holding and being held by the strong military man, nor of running his fingers through the silver hair, but as time had passed by, the story had repeated itself. For Daniel, life with Jack had not been a walk through a rose garden…although…a rose garden would make him miserable with his allergies, so he could consider that most of the time, life with Jack O’Neill had been a walk in a forest at full bloom in spring time.
Theirs had been the story of a great love, but there had also been the constant fights, the possessive and arrogant attitude Jack had had toward him…The flirting with Sam.
The last straw had been the affair with that woman from the CIA.
‘Nice touch, Jack. While I was fighting for my life and pondering what to do next, you were screwing around.’
A knock at the door interrupted his thoughts. “What does she want now,” said Daniel on his way to the door. He opened it, and stood surprised.
“Cameron,” corrected the Colonel while coming in. “
“I can see that,” Daniel observed, noticing Cameron was wearing civilian clothes and carrying a delivery box with some paper bags that smelled deliciously familiar.
“I brought you some food.”
“Thanks but I’m not…”
“When was the last time you had a decent meal?…Too long of a thought. And I brought Chinese.” Daniel’s eyebrows danced in surprise and, his eyes never leaving the bad, he took a deep breath, relishing the smell. His eyes shone with delight.
“Right,” Cameron conceded, inwardly embarrassed. “You can’t go anywhere until the link is broken.”
Both started to eat. The Colonel was enjoying the view. Daniel took a piece of food with his long fingers, and, as though in slow motion, put it in his mouth, wrapping his lips around it. Then, closing his eyes, the civilian made a great show of tasting the food like it was the most exquisite thing in the universe.
Cameron thought how nice it would be to feel those plum lips with his own. He absently let out a “Mmmm…” of appreciation.
“It’s really good, isn’t it?” smiled an oblivious Daniel. “Thank you, Cameron. I haven’t had this in a long while.”
“See, those are the things you get when you’re a good boy,” said the suitor to be, not hiding his amusement from the noticeably disconcerted scientist. “I wish I could say I’m sorry for you missing the Dedalus, but I am not…You know, I wanted you to stay here.”
“Thanks for your honesty.”
“Thank YOU, Daniel.” The archaeologist looked intrigued. “I’m learning so much from you, Dr. Jackson.”
“My favourite Chinese food might make me change my mind about not going to Atlantis, but far-fetched compliments won’t.”
“What? Are you kidding? The way you confronted the prior on P8X-412 was sensational, Daniel. You exposed them for what they are, and talked about good and evil…I felt like I was witnessing some kind of philosophical debate Sophacles and another great thinker could have had.”
Daniel was looking at Cameron the same way he’d looked at Hammond almost two years before, when the General had believed him when he’d claimed having memories about Bratac and Ryac being in danger.
“Daniel, don’t look at me with that expression of horror. I’m serious, and you should know by now that you are one of the best in handling the communications with other cultures. You and your way of leaving your contender speechless when making a point-it’s one of our greatest assets. Why do you think the Ori brought that disease upon the people of that planet? Because they couldn’t confront you on philosophical grounds. You beat them!”
Cameron looked at the visibly uncomfortable man; it was amazing to him that such a genius could be so self deprecating.
Daniel was trying to deny the compliment, unfortunately the linguist had his mouth full, so he signaled with his hand and head a timid downplay of the events. ‘And again he’s doing that cute denying with his head. God, I could kiss him silly right now,’ Cameron thought.
Daniel was disconcerted with Cameron’s intense look; he coughed and took a sip of water. “So, Cameron, did you find a place already?”
“Nah,” said a very confident Cameron.
* * * *
Daniel was at his desk; he had just finished a report and was wondering what to do next. ‘Better get off base,’ he told himself, thinking about buying some groceries and going home to crash. It had been quite a week, and he couldn’t help but be saddened by Vala’s uncertain fate in the Ori dominated galaxy. Then again, he figured she could handle anything on her own. A knock on his door made him come back to reality. It was Colonel Mitchell.
“Hi…I thought you’d be gone by now.”
“I left and then came back. You know, when you’re new to a city…”
“I know,” Daniel said raising his eyebrows and nodding.
“What do you say we got something to eat…if you don’t have any plans, of course.”
“Ah…umm…I don’t know.”
“Thought to treat you, since you are able to go out into the world again.”
“Right,” Daniel smiled, getting the joke about the link between Vala and him being finally broken. “In that case. I accept.”
Daniel went to the lockers and proceeded to change into civilian clothes. It was nice of Cameron to make an effort to be his friend. For a change he could hang out with someone who had some of the same interests he had, or who at least tried to understand him. Daniel knew he was more and more leaning toward staying and being a part off an SG1 lead by Lt Colonel Cameron Mitchell. The man had proven himself to them all. Mitchell might not be Jack, but the guy respected the civilian and most important he really listened to him.
This was quite a change from when he’d started working at the SGC and travelling through the Stargate. For the first time, here was a Colonel he didn’t need to break in. Lt Colonel Cameron Mitchell had come asking for his assistance, practically begging for the civilian to work with him. That was refreshing.
They had developed a nice friendship; they could joke, pick on each other, and play Basketball. Yes, even Basketball. Daniel had never been a physical man, but working at the SGC in the last 8 years had made him a more confident one. He felt very comfortable approaching a court now, and when Cameron suggested for they ‘do some hoops’, he found it relaxing and fun. He was thankful Cameron had taken the time to help him learn some defense/offense moves.
He straightened up his clothes and looked at himself in the mirror. He froze at his reflection. He had a goofy smile on his face.
What was going on?
Daniel Jackson was not a smiling person, not that he actively tried to be a grump or anything. It just wasn’t him.
However, there it was; a joyful expression on his face. He gave a long look at himself and mentally started to analyze his own behaviour. He realized he had been smiling quite often in the last few weeks!
He checked his reflection once again. Maybe he was under the influence of something? He shook his head and looked around, making sure no one was in the room. He studied his expression again. Not being able to find an answer, he stopped worrying; if he was under any alien ‘feel-good’ mood changer, he would welcome it, it was nice to feel relaxed for a change. He went up the elevator and met the Southerner at the parking lot.
They decided to drive in their own cars and go to an Italian restaurant Daniel recommended. The archaeologist was leading the way, and once in a while he’d checked the rear view. Sometimes Cameron would flash his headlights signally a ‘hello’, and smile at him. The archaeologist would smile back-and blush. He looked at himself in the mirror and there it was: the wide smile he had seen before. ‘What’s going on?’ he wondered. However he couldn’t ponder any longer since he was parking at their destination.
They had a nice dinner and talked about Vala, of all people.
“You know, I have to admit that Vala is a tough chick. She saved us all.”
“Yes she did,” Daniel agreed. “I hope she’s okay, wherever she is. She might be in real trouble right now.”
“Are you kidding? Like you said before, sending her to the Ori planet system was one of the best messages we could have sent. Of course, unless you miss her?”
“Umm, no. I mean she’s a good person under all that façade, but I think I’m better off without her in my life.”
“So her infatuation with you was a one way thing?”
“Yeah, I admire how tough and smart she is, but…not my cup of tea.”
“I’ll drink to that!”
Daniel was actually having fun, yet he still could not get used to the attention Cameron was giving him right now and since joining the SGC.
“Daniel, what do you say we watch a movie or something?”
“Sure. Your place or my…”
“It’ll have to be yours; I’m still unpacking. The only things we could use there would be some beer I have in the refrigerator and my bed.” Daniel raised his eyebrows and coughed. “I mean, no DVD player connected or anything else,” Mitchell added a bit hurriedly.
They went to Daniel’s place after picking up two movies in a small video store that carried a lot of foreign language titles. Cameron had no idea what they were about, but the fact that Daniel recommended them was enough for him.
Once inside the apartment, Cameron was surprised to see the place neatly organized. Daniel noticed his expression.
“Is everything ok?”
“Yeah, sorry, but you were just planning to leave earth not so long ago, we’ve been crazy as hell at work, you didn’t leave the base until today, and your place looks…great! Last time I checked, there were still unpacked stuff, and boxes all over.”
“I have a lady that comes once a week and cleans for me; I told her I needed my place ready this week and voila!”
“I want her number; I’m going to need her to help me with my place.”
* * * *
Daniel had previously seen both movies, and allowed his
guest to pick one, so they watched “
While the movie was playing, he took his time to observe the Colonel. He had to admit the man was attractive. He detailed the strong arms. Though Cameron was lean, his physique showed well defined muscles, and it didn’t hurt that he was a very receptive man.
Cameron had the profile of one of those knights painted by Sir Frank Dicksee. Strong and sculpted features surrounding the intense blue eyes. The archaeologist mused on how the “warrior” had confronted the Knight left behind by the Ancients. He did pretty good, for a man who ‘had never fought a knight in an armour’.
To his surprise the Colonel was glued to the storyline on the TV set. At times, he would even ask to rewind the movie, so he could read the subtitles again, but the linguist would tell him what was really said, sometimes commenting on how inaccurate the translation had been.
Cameron felt like a teenager again. He liked the movie plot
and, once it was over, he couldn’t bring himself to stop analyzing the story
about the members of a family that found their inner places in a remote part of
the south of
“This is amazing, Daniel. Think about it. Somehow I see the connection between you and the movie. It’s like the layers of rocks that the geologists study. Life is like that. The characters were peeling each other’s feelings like one cleans the dust off a rock…just like you do when studying the artifacts you find.”
“Well,” a surprised Daniel said. “Yeah, kind of,” he added, twitching his ear.
“I’m sorry, am I boring you? I’m probably making a fool of myself.”
“Oh no, Cameron. I’m just surprised that you were so into the movie.”
“I hope you’ll find interesting many of the things I’m into. To this, Daniel.”
Cameron raised a glass and toasted, unsuccessfully trying to hide his enthusiasm.
‘Oooo-kaaay,’ Daniel told himself and toasted.
They kept talking for a while, Cameron trying to concentrate on the conversation, but distracted at times with the plum lips talking to him. He found fascinating how Daniel, when relaxed, would get an interesting glow. He wondered whether it had anything to do with the being ascended thing.
At one point they realized it was past ; Cameron straightened himself up and started to get ready to leave.
“Cameron, you can stay and sleep on the couch,” Daniel offered.
“No, thank you,” Cameron responded, thinking that if he stayed he would fuck to unconsciousness the unsuspecting host. “And I’m okay, I can drive, so don’t worry.”
“Daniel, thank you for the wonderful evening. I had a great time.”
“Me too. It was fun.”
“See you on Monday, then.”
“Yeah, take care…Hey, um, ah…Do you want us to have brunch together?…ah…”
“I’d love to.”
“Good, say Sunday around ?”
“That’s perfect. Can I pick you up?”
“I’ll be here,” said Daniel, escorting Cameron to the door. The Colonel stopped before reaching the door and gave a long look to Daniel, imperceptibly leaning toward him. The archaeologist couldn’t help but feel nervous with the proximity of the other man, and taking action, he rushed back to the living room.
“Ah, Cameron…here. Take this DVD with you. I’ve seen it. That way we’ll have something to talk about at brunch.”
“There’s always something interesting to talk about with you, Daniel.”
Noticing the title of the DVD, “Well, it’s not auspicious… ‘Gloomy Sunday’? Are you trying to tell me something, Dr. Jackson?”
Daniel shook his head, like he’d done in Arlos’ lab when Cameron had said he would have to haul Daniel’s ass…Cameron laughed. He couldn’t help but find Daniel cute.
“Well, I guess now I know what to do tomorrow. Plug in all my entertainment center and watch this movie,” Cameron said waving the DVD in his hand.
* * * *
Walking to his car, Cameron felt intoxicated with all the events from the night. He was sure the wine had nothing to do with it. He knew he could handle alcohol. Here, what he was feeling, for the first time in a long while, were the butterflies of love fluttering in his stomach.
He thought that if this moment were a movie and provided it was raining, he could be like Gene Kelly, dancing and singing in the rain. That’s how happy Daniel made him feel.
He had spent a quality time with Daniel, and he hadn’t been disappointed. He was so happy that he couldn’t even find it in his heart to dislike Vala. He understood too well why the woman was head over heels with Daniel. He thought that one of the most appealing qualities of the scientist was that he wasn’t aware of the impact he had on women – and men for that matter. He had noticed how some men offworld looked at the unsuspecting blue eyed man.
He got inside the car and drove slowly, still enjoying the moment he’d had, thinking how envious those wannabe suitors would be of him spending a whole Friday night with Daniel.
Suddenly a name came to his mind. He almost stopped the car.
To be continued…
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