Naked Rain

Title: Naked Rain
Author: Fai
Status: Complete
Spoilers: The movie, FIAD
Category: Angst
Pairings: References Daniel/Sha're but ultimately it's a team piece
Season: 4
Rating: PG
Content Warning: Mild and brief sexual imagery.
Summary: An anniversary brings up some painful memories and a new realization.
Archive: Authors web site only, I'll post links to my site at theGenGate and a few others.

Authors Note: I blatantly stole the title from a song of the same name by This Picture, which also served as the inspiration of the piece. As always, huge thanks to Carrie for being a wonderful beta and friend. Any remaining mistakes are my own. Feedback of any kind is greatly appreciated.

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The droplets fell at a steady pace, causing pinpricks of coldness wherever they touched exposed skin. His bare feet pressed into the gelid concrete below them, but he paid no mind to the chill that now pervaded his body. He should pull his near frozen hands from the rain-slicked balcony railing. He should go inside where it was warm and safe. He should remove the now soggy jogging suit in favor of something dry. He should, but he wouldn’t. Daniel knew the cold was coming from deep down in his soul where no rain could touch and there was nothing in his small, empty apartment that would be able to change that.

Five years. Was that right? It seemed like it had only been yesterday despite the fact Daniel felt a hundred years older than he’d been on that day.

Daniel let his eyes close and head fall back, face held up to the sky in the hope the rain would be able to penetrate and wash the memories from his mind. Five years and he could still feel the way his stomach spun as he stepped out of the far end of the wormhole for the first time. Still remember the wonderment of having done the unbelievable and seeing things his imagination had never prepared him for. Still feel the arms and hands of soldiers brusquely pushing him aside as they hurried to do whatever it was they’d been tasked with. Instantly, Daniel had been certain nothing could ever happen that would change his life more than that exact moment had. But he’d been wrong about that, something else had happened. She’d happened.

Sha’re had first been a misguided gift to a presumed god but she quickly had become something Daniel would fight an assumed god for. He couldn’t help but note the bitter irony of having in the end lost her to just such a false god. Dead false god he corrected automatically, not getting any solace from the fact. Some might say Apophis’s death brought with it justice, but in the end Sha’re was still gone and Daniel was still alone.

With none of its strength diminished due to passage of time, the brutal reality of that loss still hit him hard enough to push him back from the railing. Letting his knees give, Daniel sank to the unforgiving surface below, his back coming to rest against the balcony’s sliding glass door as his arms unconsciously wrapped around his middle.

Most of the time he could push away the memories and the pain that inevitably came with them. Not tonight. Tonight he could clearly feel his fingers winding their way into Sha’re’s hair as he leaned into that first slow, sweet kiss. He’d already known by that point no matter what happened with the mission, his heart had found something it had always needed. Like a once blind man seeing his first sunset, Daniel had watched the demure beauty who averted her eyes whenever she was addressed directly blossom into the brave and passionate woman who would be the love of his life.

Daniel wasn’t sure what he longed for most. To hear his wife’s light-spirited laughter fill the air or to look into her rich, brown eyes that shone with humor and love. To have the feeling of security he’d had each morning as he woke to the touch of Sha’re’s soft curves pressed against him. Or to feel the small hitch of her breath as his hands brushed across just the right places on silken skin, whetted by desire. Their bodies had fit together perfectly and though Daniel had never come right out and asked Sha’re if she’d ever been with anyone else, he knew neither of them had ever been with anyone so right.

"Didn’t anyone ever teach you to come in from the rain?"

The soft-spoken question that came from the open balcony doorway didn’t even cause Daniel to open his eyes. He’d known all along who would come for him. The same person who’d been standing beside him when he’d found Sha’re, and again when he’d lost her.

"I miss her, Jack."

His own declaration caught Daniel off guard and the stark simplicity of it made him wonder how so much pain and anger could be stuffed into those few short words. Or how naked he felt having said them aloud. Rarely had he admitted it to himself let alone another living soul, preferring instead to push it into the deepest hidden crevasses of his heart where he was least likely to stumble upon it unbidden.

"I know."

Something in his friends voice made Daniel finally look up and meet Jack’s eyes. The curtain of sarcasm and humor was gone, laying bare the man behind it and allowing Daniel a glimpse into a place he suspected even Jack himself rarely ventured. Jack knew. He knew about loss, about running from it and he knew what it felt like when it finally caught up with you. Slowly, Jack held his hand out to Daniel, never breaking the eye contact as he did.

"Come inside, Daniel."

Daniel realized he’d been wrong before; Sha’re was gone, but he was not alone. Reaching out his own hand, he allowed his friend to pull him to his feet and silently followed him into the apartment. As he suspected, Jack hadn’t come alone and he guessed the puttering sounds coming from his kitchen to be Sam warming up something she’d cooked at home. The smell of warm bread and tomato sauce led him to assume she’d gone with Italian, the mother of all comfort food.

Across the room he could see the last member of his team standing silently. After all this time he placed no blame there, but he could see the hesitance in Teal’c as he cautiously moved closer and handed Daniel a towel. Nodding his thanks, Daniel made it as far as his bedroom door before turning back to the three members of SG-1 now gathered around his dining room table.

Sam looked up from setting out plates, worry clear in her expression despite the smile she was forcing. "Dinner’s almost ready, you better get changed. You must be freezing."

"I’ll turn the heat up," Jack offered pushing his chair back from the table.

"No, it’s alright Jack," Daniel said stopping him before he could stand.

The inner chill wasn’t gone and Daniel doubted it ever would be completely, but right now he was surrounded by warmth. He knew he couldn’t ask for more.

"I think it’s just right as it is."




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