June 6th, 2005
Extra Credit Story #1 for wip_it_good
Paring: Jack/Daniel, Shari/Daniel
Based on a fanfic challenge set by azarsuerte: Shari is found raped and murdered, presumably by Albert Pophis. Who comforts Daniel--Sam, Jack, Jonas, someone else?--and how far does that comfort go? Alternatively, explore the case against Pophis--is there enough evidence to convict him? If so, who makes the arrest? Who prosecutes the case? And how far does the firm have to go to keep Daniel from taking justice into his own hands?
Not beta'd, still a work in progress.
Jack O’Neill, Senior Partner of one of Denver’s most prominent legal firm Carter, Hammond and O'Neill, crossed across the room with a large cup of coffee. He took a sip and wondered when he acquired the taste to the bitter stuff.
He smiled as he recalled the memories of Daniel bringing him a cup of coffee every morning. He claimed that it was the nectar of the Gods and he was right.
Jack sighed and clicked on the evening news as he turned back to the dinning room table and the files that were scattered across the table top. Taking another sip of his coffee he sat down to study the files for the next day’s proceedings. Jack half heartedly listened to the news broadcast that flickered across the giant screen TV as he continued to study the files.
Hours went by as he continued to study the files, finalizing an outline for his opening statements. He quickly glanced up at the TV as a familiar face stared back at him. He felt a chill run down his spine and he froze as he recognized the soft innocent eyes. “Shari,” he lamented as he gazed at the beautiful young woman that flickered in front of his eyes. When he broke out of his trance he leaned over and turned up the volume, his heart aching as a few key words echoed in his ear; found dead, murderer at large, mutilated, raped.
He dropped the remote with shock. “It can’t be.” He gasped as the news commentary of continued to repeat.
“Danny,” he gasped, the soft word flowed from his lips as he thought of his friend, the man he kept near to his heart, the man he had fallen in love with. He had accepted the wedding of Daniel and Shari, knowing that Daniel needed a new start, a chance to love. They had only been married a few weeks and now she was gone.
Jack’s thoughts continued to race as he grabbed his car keys and headed back to the office. He was forced to park further away from the building due to the police cars and the press loitering around after hours. Everything felt unreal; nothing publicly had personally affected the law firm since Charlie’s death.
He pushed pass the press and was relieved to see Jonas Quinn approach him. “Jack, I was just about to call you-”
“Where’s Dann- Daniel?” Jack questioned as Jonas paled slightly and looked away. “Jonas?”
“We don’t know.” He sighed, crossing his arms over his chest and then tugging his ear. “No one’s been able to find him since the news broke. He wouldn’t- I mean, would he?”
“Yes,” Jack sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck, suddenly knowing where he might be- the old tower. “Call me if you hear anything,” he stated firmly. “And I mean anything.”
“Yes, sir.” Jonas nodded, realization dawning in his eyes. “You know where he is.”
“Maybe,” He replied quickly. “And there’s only one way to find out.” Jack glanced around the crowded room and frantic coworkers. “Keep the fort together, and gather all the information you can find on the case.”
“Yes, Jack.” He stated firmly. “Anything I can do to help.”
“Good.” Jack nodded, offering a small tight smile. “I’ll check back.” He added as he turned to leave.
The silence was deafening, and the solitude wasn’t what he was searching for, but he didn’t know where else to go or what else to do. He felt lost, empty. Daniel sighed as he looked up at the stars, wrapping his arms tighter around himself. “Shari,” he moaned as he felt the hot prickle of tears once more.
Daniel stiffened, not bothering to look toward Jack as he repeated his name. “Go away,” he whispered as he closed his eyes.
“Danny,” Jack soothed as he crossed over to him and reached out, touching his back with a light caress. “I thought I’d find you here.”
Daniel leaned back into the offered touch, taking a deep breath as he looked up at the stars. “She’s gone,” Daniel began his voice tight, wavering with tears. “Some one took her from me.”
“I know.” Jack stated softly as he rubbed small circles into his back.
“Why does everyone always leave me?” He managed to question, his voice even softer then before. “My parents, Shari.”
Jack sucked in a quick breath, not knowing how to answer him. “I’m still here.” He replied as he wrapped his arms around him. “I’m still here.”
“Jack,” he cried turning to him, letting the older man comfort him. “I loved her, and now she’s gone. He raped her, mutilated her body! Gawd Jack, I could barely recognize her.”
Jack held him close, tightening his arms around him. “We’ll find out who did this.” Jack promised. “We will put him away, a life sentence.”
“That may not be enough,” Daniel replied harshly as he pulled away, wiping away the few stray tears that managed to escape.
“For now, it has to be.” He whispered as he trailed his fingers over his face. “Let me take you home.”
“I can’t go back there.” He hissed, “not without Shari. It’s too soon.”
“Come home with me then,” Jack offered.
Daniel nodded and let Jack lead him away from the edge. “Okay,” he agreed and followed him back to the car.