Sense Perception

by indie

RATING: R for language, sexual content.
CHARACTERS: Daniel-centric. Mention of his relationships. Mentions of Sam/Jack.
SPOILERS: Everything through the end of Season 7.
TIMELINE: Some time after Lost City II.
DISCLAIMER: The Stargate SG-1 universe is property of MGM, Showtime, World Gekko Corp, SciFi Channel and Double Secret productions. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is gained from this work.


He doesn’t remember much about being Ascended, but he does know that certain things are more important now than he ever imagined. His year of ostensible omnipotence was really nothing more than a year of insubstantiality, inconsequentiality. He tries not to be bitter – okay, he wants to try to not be bitter. It’s just another on a long laundry list of current projects, somewhere behind repotting that philodendron in his kitchen. Ascension, moving to a higher plane, traveling beyond the physical trappings and limitations, sounds great. It sounds noble and laudable. At least it used to. Now it sort of sounds like a great recruitment line. He thinks the Air Force could learn a few tricks from Oma.

One of the things that – in retrospect, and he’s betting his hindsight is closer to 20/10 than 20/20 - chafes the most is that he liked the physical trappings. Granted, he didn’t realize that until it was far too late to be an issue. And it wasn’t like he had a lot of options, Ascension or death. It hadn’t been a tough decision. At the time he had been so sure. But now, older, wiser, more jaded, he realizes it for what it was: a resolution made under duress. He did it because, really, he had no other choice. Sure when he was Ascended he made it out to be the hottest thing going. He’d been high on his own press, unable to see it for the bullshit that it was. He was so accustomed to ignoring Jack that he initially didn’t give his friend’s very pointed criticism a second thought.

But he’s back, corporeal with all the emotional and physical baggage the mortal coil entails. His right shoulder bothers him now more than it used to. He’s more sensitive to cold. But in the end, it’s all worth it. Daniel Jackson is very much a slave to his sense perception. He’s a tactile whore and he knows it. He’s an archeologist and an academician because he had no other choice. His corollary would be the junkie pharmacist. He needs the creaking, groaning spine of a four hundred year old tome. He craves the sandpaper-rough feel of a limestone tablet under his fingers. He yearns for the possibility imbued smell of parchment and wax when he makes rubbings of ancient ruins. He still has shitty eyesight for gods’ sake. That alone should be telling enough. Lasik could have fixed him up good as new years ago, but he enjoys the physicality of glasses, glass and metal refracting light.

A year of not being able to touch anything, of not being able to affect anything has left him even more bound to these physical trappings. He’s an unabashed hedonist. He eats too much, drinks too much, fucks too much.

He always enjoyed sex – didn’t get it nearly enough due much more to his own social ineptitude than lack of opportunity. He totally botched things with Sarah. He’d like to think he learned that lesson. But deep down he knows that it was Sha’re’s own voracious physical appetite and his inability to deny her anything rather than some conscious decision of his own that made that relationship work. He was loved and in return, loved her with everything he was. And then Apophis stole his entire world.

After that came the ceaseless searching, then the crushing mourning. Sha’re had been his light, his center, and losing her had nearly undone him. Slowly, he got back in the game, mostly while off-world. He knew the Air Force didn’t approve, but it wasn’t exactly like they could court-martial him, or afford to fire him. And it wasn’t like they gave him a lot of opportunity to find companionship among his own people. SG-1 is on active duty an average of 320 days a year. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for dating. Plus, female companionship isn’t exactly plentiful around base. He flirted with Janet, but ultimately knew it would be wise to keep that relationship above board, even if there was that one minor indiscretion in Jack’s bathroom during a drunken New Year’s Eve party just after the turn of the millennium. He’s thankful for that decision. He thinks that losing three lovers just might have killed him more efficiently than that damn Kelownan bomb. Sam has always and will always be a sister to him. So, he roamed among the natives of whatever planet they happened to be exploring.

It wasn’t like he was Daniel Jackson, space stud, or anything. Yeah, he got more than Jack, but honestly that was due a lot more to Jack’s (inadmissible) pining over Sam than to any predatory male tendencies on his own part. He had a few indiscretions, a few enjoyable encounters. Once again, he wouldn’t realize how much he was missing until he had lost the ability to affect anything.

So now he makes up for it. The musty smell of books, the coppery taste of rare steak, the love-hate feel of fingernails digging into his back, it’s what keeps him sane. He likes the smell of sex, the sound. He likes the wet slap of flesh on flesh, the pungent musk of cum, the salt taste of tears. He likes blood; his hers, it doesn’t even matter.

“Daniel,” she gasps, arching her back, flexing those long legs as she grabs a handful of his hair. She doesn’t like it this way, up against the wall, skirt hiked up around her waist as he drills into her as hard as he can. But she won’t make him stop. He learned that quickly. He can push as much as he wants and she will always bend, always allow, always acquiesce. He knows that she thinks she needs to be punished. He knows that’s bullshit. He just wishes he could stop indulging her masochism.

He really thought that Sam and Jack had cornered the market on dysfunctional relationships, but apparently he was wrong. At least they just cried in their beers, had wet dreams about each other, while maintaining an oh-so-professional working relationship at all times – even while Jack was dying. Hell, Jack had even stopped goading Sam. Though Daniel guesses that even for a diehard flirt like Jack, all that innuendo must have gotten old after seven years of knowing it could never come to fruition. Now Jack’s on ice, maybe forever, and Sam is a little more emotionally closed off every day. She doesn’t even know how to mourn him. Always professional, CO and 2IC. They knew how to play by the rules.

Some days Daniel has to remind himself that there are rules. Mostly he acknowledges them only as he breaks them. He’s not the kind of doctor that took the Hippocratic oath, but he still knows that what he’s doing is a violation. Maybe not a violation of Air Force policy or even of Colorado state law, but morally, ethically, oh yeah, he’s definitely on the wrong side of right. He’s supposed to be helping her acclimate, as one who so recently had to re-acclimate himself with Earth culture. Mostly he just helps her get off. He doesn’t really think that’s much of a help at all.

But she’s here, in his life, clinging to him, smelling of cinnamon and chamomile and confusion. And damn him if that doesn’t make him want her more. Her skin still feels like satin, Osiris’s scar nothing more than the smallest imperfection. Her sobs sound like music to his ears. Because even as she’s breaking inside, even as he’s dragging them both down, her scent and sound and smell remind him that he is alive.


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