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Jack/Daniel (Stargate SG-1)

Deepest apologies for the lateness - I should know better than to volunteer for stuff during the first week of classes.

Title: Old Married Couple in Space
Author: Mary
Spoilers: through all aired episodes
Email: mjhaas @ thisfloatingworld.com
Personal Website: This Floating World

I feel almost silly writing an essay about why Jack/Daniel, because if you've spent any amount of time in this fandom you doubtless already have an opinion on the 'ship. J/D and Jack/Sam are, after all, the Goliaths of Stargate pairings. But I just love to talk about these two, so I couldn't resist.

Basic premise of the show, should anyone be reading who's unfamiliar: the US military discovers a device called the Stargate that can transport people to other worlds. They begin to use it to explore and to gain weapons and allies to defend the planet from the goa'uld, parasites that take humans as unwilling hosts and take on the roles of various mythical gods. If you're interested in getting into the show, the Sci-Fi Channel has long blocks of Stargate episodes every Monday night.

The characters:
Daniel's an archaeologist who sort of functions as the SGC's all-purpose linguist and ancient culture expert. He's brilliant, idealistic, compassionate, and dedicated. He can also be stubborn and arrogant. Jack's a career US Air Force officer and becomes the leader of the SGC's main team. He's loyal, brave, funny, and a natural leader. He's also done what he refers to as "some damn distasteful things" on black ops missions and is capable of lying convincingly to his friends for weeks when he had to go undercover.

Their contrasting viewpoints cause a lot of friction and debate throughout the series. (As a personal sidenote, this is one of the aspects of the pairing I enjoy the most while watching the show, and indeed why I tend to be pulled toward unconventional pairings in general. Conventional ships often spend their scenes together discussing their relationship, which isn't generally satisfying to me, while unconventional pairs discuss larger, more dramatic issues in their scenes together. But you're not reading this essay to find out more about me, so I digress.) Their different approaches tend to balance each other out, and over the eight years of the series so far they've become comfortable with meeting in the middle.

Why do I love this pairing? Because they know each other incredibly well, have each seen the other at his best and worst, and still clearly enjoy each other. There's nothing more attractive in a pairing than that, to me. And whether one interprets their relationship as romantic or not, it's undeniable that they're very important to each other. I started watching the show when season 7 was about to start, and the first episode I saw was one from season two. Within two weeks, I'd bought the first 5 seasons on DVD. I was struck by their relationship right away, and while I've had other fannish loves, nothing's drawn me in as hard and fast as this one.

Nearly a Decade of Subtext
This pairing boasts an embarrassment of riches in the subtext department, so I won't be able to mention everything. But no slash essay would be complete without at least a look at the essentials. (All screencaps probably gakked from JackSlashDaniel.)

Stargate: the Movie - This one will probably get long, because it's just so very key to the characters. Daniel and Jack are both sent on the original Stargate mission to Abydos, which was then thought to be the only planet the gate went to. Both of their lives were in ruins at the time. Daniel's career was all but destroyed by skepticism about his theory that the pyramids weren't built by the Egyptians. Jack's situation is far worse - his son had recently killed himself accidentally with Jack's gun. Jack was chosen to go essentially because he was suicidal enough to set off a nuclear weapon on Abydos if what his group found was threatening enough. His friendship with Daniel brings back his will to live, and he uses the bomb to destroy a gou'ald warship without harming Abydos. When Daniel wants to stay on the planet with an inhabitant named Sha're that he'd fallen for, he tells Daniel to bury the gate and lies to his superiors for Daniel. The government's official report reads that the planet was destroyed and Daniel died there (which he did, but don't worry, he got better - it's kind of his thing), and the program was closed down.

Our story would end here, but Daniel - arrogant and curious kind of guy that he is - uncovers the gate, and various circumstances cause the Earth to start up the Stargate program again. Sha're is taken as a goa'uld host and Daniel becomes a member of SG-1.

Fire and Water - An alien makes Jack (and teammates Sam and Teal'c) think Daniel's dead through a whole elaborate mind control thing. Jack is distraught, beats a car with a hockey stick to get his frustrations out, and considers retiring. The hallucinations of Daniel's death include Daniel calling out to Jack, by name, for help.

The Serpent's Lair - A goa'uld warship is on its way to destroy Earth, and SG-1 gate in to stop the attack. Daniel's critically wounded by a staff weapon blast and convinces Jack to leave him on the ship, and Jack puts a hand against his face for a long moment before leaving. When Jack gets back to the SGC, he's incredibly glad to see Daniel survived, and we get one of the best hugs in the show's history. See for yourselves.

Need - Daniel gets hooked on a goa'uld sarcophagus and then goes into withdrawal when SG-1 comes back to Earth. Another hug as Daniel recovers from the addiction.

The Fifth Race - Jack gets an alien language downloaded into his brain and gradually loses the ability to communicate in English. DANIEL: "And, bottom line, Sir, what about Jack? Right now I'm possibly his only hope for communicating on any serious level. I can't leave him like this, and I won't."

The Devil You Know - An enemy is trying to use the team's memories to make them give up sensitive information. Daniel sees a memory of Jack. Hallucination/Memory!Jack: "And I know I don’t always sound like I believe you, but I do believe in you."

Shades of Grey - Jack has to lie to pretty much everyone to convince a rogue government group that has been running secret missions that he's really interested in joining them. Daniel's the one who goes to Jack's house to find out what's going on - Jack's house, of course, has been bugged, so he can't tell him what's going on. Daniel: "So this whole friendship thing we've been working on the last few years..." Jack: "Apparently not much of a foundation there, huh?" After it's revealed Jack was just acting: "No I feel kind of...I do appreciate that you were the one that came to see if I was okay. That...that means something."

The Serpent's Venom - Not really one of the big moments but so completely adorable I couldn't resist mentioning it, and a good example of their easy mutual snark, which is one of my favorite parts of their relationship. JACK: (picking up one of Daniel's bags) "Sure you GOT everything?" DANIEL: "Wanna try to reprogram that mine without the proper translations?" JACK: "Thought of a laptop?" DANIEL: "Well, I had one, I just couldn't get Beck's Ancient Phonetian Symbolism on CD at Archeology.com, so..." Jack gives him an affectionate Look, and then pushes up Daniel's glasses.

The Light - Daniel gets addicted to an alien substance again, and this time the withdrawal makes him suicidally depressed. Jack goes to check on him and finds him about to jump off his balcony. DANIEL: "I tried. It just goes away." JACK: "Okay. Then we'll get it back." DANIEL: "You can't get it back." JACK: "Whatever's wrong, we'll fix it." DANIEL: "You don't even know what I'm talking about." JACK: "No. No I don't. But come inside." This gets through to Daniel, and Jack holds onto him for a long moment. Jack sits by Daniel's hospital bed, and when Daniel's heart stops and the only thing that will save him is going back to the planet, Jack carries him on his back.

Meridian - One of the big ones. Daniel saves a planet called Kelowna from a disastrous explosion, and in the process is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. The Kelownans want to blame Daniel for what happened, and the SGC considers going along with it as the planet has a lot of valuable natural resources. JACK: "I'm not gonna let you tarnish his name. See, I don't care what that stuff is worth to anyone. My government will admit Daniel is guilty over my dead body." Later, Jack talks to Daniel about the situation. JACK: "You're not gonna take the fall for this. I don't care what's at stake." DANIEL: "Why do you care?" JACK: "Because despite the fact that you've been a terrific pain in the ass for the last five years, I may have, might have, grown to admire you a little, I think." Later, Daniel decides to ascend - which is a long story, but basically means leaving his physical body behind - and his spirit picks Jack to say goodbye to. Jack tells the doctors to stop trying to heal him because "it's what he wants." No one questions that Jack's the person who would know. DANIEL: "Thank you. For everything."

Daniel stays dead/ascended for all of the 6th season. Even so, the slashiest episode of all time takes place during this year. That would be Abyss. Jack has to become a host to a Tok'ra, which are a group of non-evil goa'ulds. The Tok'ra takes him to a planet ruled by a goa'uld named Ba'al to save his girlfriend, and Jack's captured and tortured to death repeatedly and brought back to life by a sarcophagus as Ba'al tries to find out why he's there. Daniel goes to see him in his cell, but can't use his ascended powers to help Jack escape because ascended aren't allowed to interfere with the world. (Which is a subject of some debate, actually, but that's a subject for another time.) But he's there because overuse of the sarcophagus essentially destroys a person's soul, and so Daniel offers to help him ascend. Jack refuses. JACK: "If the Daniel Jackson I knew was really here..." DANIEL: "I am." JACK: "Then do something!" Later - JACK: "Okay...put yourself in my shoes and me in yours." DANIEL: "You'd be here for me." JACK: "Damn straight! I'd have busted you out, blown this rat hole to hell and made sure that son-of-a-bitch suffered!" DANIEL: "The Others would have stopped you." JACK: "They'd have a hell of a fight on their hands." DANIEL: "You wouldn't do that." JACK: "Ba'al would be dead, and don't think I'd stop there!" DANIEL: "You're a better man than that." JACK: "That's where you're wrong!" Jack then asks Daniel to let him die if he won't help him escape. DANIEL: "Don't ask me to do that." Daniel then leaves - and helps Teal'c to come up with a plan to help Jack escape, though this is left somewhat ambiguous.

In the infirmary, after Jack's escaped - DANIEL: "I always seem to be saying good bye to you." JACK: "Yeah, I noticed that. Why don't you stick around for a while?" DANIEL: "I can't...really." JACK: "You just did." DANIEL: "Special occasion." JACK: "Christmas?" DANIEL: "No." JACK: "Ground Hog's Day?" DANIEL: "Nooo." JACK: "I've got my journey, you've got yours?" DANIEL: "...you're gonna be all right." JACK: "How do you know?" DANIEL: "You're just gonna have to trust me." JACK: "I can do that."

Daniel comes back for season seven, and most of the slashy moments there are small ones. They've entered the territory of old married couple, to my mind, so that's kind of to be expected. But I wanted to mention Lost City part one. SG-1 checks out some ruins in hopes of finding the location of the lost city of the ancients. They find one of the same devices that downloaded a language into Jack's brain. Daniel tries to go up to the device, but Jack stops him, shouting "No, no, no, no, no!" and pushing him against the opposite wall. DANIEL: Jack, somebody has to do it. The answer is in there! If we don't find the Lost City we're as good as dead. Let me do it." JACK: "And who does the translating, when you go Ancient? In fact you're the one person who can't do it!" He then uses the device on himself.

Of course, Jack recovers, as almost always happens with this show, and Jack gets promoted. There haven't been many really showy moments between them in season eight, but there've been a number of fun smaller ones, including Jack having to shoot Daniel to save his life in Lockdown and losing his cool when Daniel's trapped offworld in Icon.

So, where's the porn?
Area 52 is the main archive for Stargate slash, and can be...well, hit or miss. But there are a number of authors who consistently write lovely stories featuring this pairing. Authors include Anna S., Brighid, Destina, The Grrrl, Keiko Kirin, Lady of Asheru, Martha, Otter, Quercus, Salieri (also check out Close on her LJ), and Tripoli. Some other excellent stories include The Clone Series by Danvers, The Cost of a Used Spaceship by Marie Blackpool, East of the Rock by Sage Theory, Grounded by Pares</a>, Loki's Curse by Jonah in the Whale, Naked Patrol by zillah, Things Learned by Moonlight by chelle, and Welcome Aboard the Daniel Jackson by SEF.

Vids, Fanart and Other Graphics Resources:
-JackslashDaniel, which has pretty much everything J/D, from image galleries to fanart to icons to vids to message boards to fanfiction to actual clips from the show. I pretty much stalk this site.
-Le Refuge, home of some incredibly lovely fanart.
-Triptych Vids, which has some of the very best vids I've ever seen. You have to write and ask for a password, but it's well worth it. Be sure to check out "Language."
-My own page of icons. The only bit of self-promotion here, I promise.

Livejournal Communities:
jackslashdaniel: For Jack/Daniel stories and discussion.
jd_daily: Daily images of Jack and Daniel.
sg1art: Stargate artwork.
stargate_icons: Stargate icons.
stargateslash: Probably self-explanatory.

Comments

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Hee, yay, always glad to spread the J/D love. (And to not be the only person that spent an insane amount of money in a short span of time to see more of them, but, you know. *g*)
Great essay, and now I do understand Jack/Daniel shippers much better. Too bad the other side got to me first! *runs off*
Oh man, come back! We can totally help you see the Light.

*note the maturity of my icon*

wonderful essay


(which he did, but don't worry, he got better,
it's kind of his thing),


i love you
Hee, thank you kindly. :)
I'm a big Jack/Daniel shipper, and it was lovely to see all the cases you pointed out to build up a ship. Stargate fics tend to just use one canon moment, if any; it's nice to see how the whole relationship shapes up from a distance.
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it! :) I had to restrain myself from the impulse to include every episode in the summary - I kept finding I had subtext to point to in almost every episode, which was great fun to remind myself of.
I love that about The Devil You Know. Jack sees his son (arguably the person he's cared about most in this world), Sam sees her father (ditto), and Daniel sees... Jack. Yeah.
theirloveissocanon.
Hee, it so totally is. *moment of squee*
*mwah* Wonderful job, thank you for writing this! And I love how you just give us all this evidence, irrefutable evidence of just how much our boys love each other. With pictures too, hee!

Agree about the slashiness of "Abyss". That ep is one of my absolute favourites for the pure, undiluted J/D-ness and the passion each man has for the other. Even if you're not into slash, you can't deny that Jack and Daniel would break all the rules, would do everything in their power, to save one another.

And thanks for the links, I definitely want to dl some vids once I get a better computer. SG vids are the yummiest things :)

Btw, not that it's a big deal, but you have a couple of odd line breaks you might want to fix. But great job! Worth the wait!
Awwww! I'm a J/D 'shipper and this made me wibble so much. And kudos for including the pictures! I just saw Serpent's Venom tonight and was going to go look for the glasses picture. :)
Hey, great essay. I'm a J/D 'shipper and I was completely looking forward to this essay. You did a terrific job. I agree that what is so good about J/D is their obvious and deep caring/need for one another. J/D have such an incredible friendship... J/D drew me in so quickly and I love it :) Thanks for your effort.
*happy sigh*

Isn't it funny how canon does all the talking for you when it comes to this relationship? I mean, how can you not see it! They care so deeply about one another, they are bound together and whether one wants to make it a romantic love or not, it's just so obvious. So beautiful!

Old married couple, indeed. *g*
Hee, I love your icon!
I feel almost silly writing an essay about why Jack/Daniel, because if you've spent any amount of time in this fandom you doubtless already have an opinion on the 'ship.

Don't feel silly, not at all. We're not all old-timers out here. I only found the show a couple of years ago (though I've been devouring reruns and, more recently, buying DVDs at a prodigious rate to make up for it), and I only became a J/D shipper within the last few months when I discovered (however belatedly) the existence of online fandom and started reading fanfiction.

Thanks so much for your wonderful essay! I saw "The Devil You Know" last night for the first time ever, just after reading this essay, and your remarks gave it added depth and resonance for me. And the fanfic & author recs are a great gift to a newbie like me, adrift in the vast sea of J/D stories out there. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to diving into all the lovely fic.
(verrry belated reply, because I suck) Thank you, very glad you enjoyed it! :) "The Devil You Know" is such a great episode, I think especially fun because it's one with slash content I wasn't expecting before I saw it. Whee stealth slash!
The Serpent's Venom - Not really one of the big moments but so completely adorable I couldn't resist mentioning it,

Thank you so much for mentioning this one - it's the scene that got me convinced about J/D. Just the way they looked at each other in that scene, and how close they're standing, and the touch to begin with...guh.

I also showed that scene to my sister who had never seen or heard of the show, and asked her what she thought (she was 16 at the time). She just said "that's pretty gay" and I nodded sagely, feeling vindicated.

So that completely random ramble was my way of saying how much I liked this essay, and how I hope you do more in the future because this was great!
Thanks fake! Spyder and I got in a conversation about the eyeglasses pushing. **fluttery hearts** Yes, I do make myself sick with the sap.

You know, season eight hasn't been so much particular slashy moments as just we going, "Cher, they are SO fucking married. Just canon it already, I don't care that the military is retarded."


No, this season has gone beyond "they're having hot slashy love" to "they're an old married couple". Jack's whole "squirrely" thing to Daniel in Icon, and the scene in Covenant where he's hanging around Jack's office for (apparently) no particular reason - that's not just slash, that's "hello, we're totally settled in now after years of being involved".

Or, y'know, just good friends. :-)
Lovely, heartfelt essay. I'm also just totally delighted by folks who describe themselves as "shippers" for Jack/Daniel. (I'm just too used to slash being used regarding m/m pairings, with "ship" automatically meaning a canon hetero couple; I love the idea, which I've been running into only recently, of using ship to denote a m/m relationship -- and as so many have said, and as you make the case, there's just so much in canon that establishes it as *a* ship, though romantic or not, or sexual or not, is another question.)

When I started out in SG fandom it was with a open mind and a willingness to read gen, ship (S/J), or slash. Slowly, over time, I've become a much heavier slash fan. Most S/J ship, and J/D slash, have complementary weaknesses, I found, which is that shipfic frequently sidelines or ignores the deep Jack-Daniel friendship, while slashfic (particularly that which feels defensive regarding canon ship) allows Jack and Daniel to have ties with practically nobody else. (Obviously -- not the *good* stuff -- but generally.) And what I came to realize, over time, was that Jack-Daniel or Jack/Daniel is what I cannot do without the most. It doesn't necessarily have to be sexual, it doesn't necessarily have to be romantic, or happily ever after -- but the deep relationship between the two of them so permeates the show, that it more than anything is what keeps me hooked. It's what I have to have, in some form, to be really satisfied.

And you pretty much managed to name every single favorite slash writer I have in the fandom! :) Keiko's "Steak" series is probably my favorite "slowly building slash for people who weren't sure they could see the slash". For any newbies reading this, I heartily second every one of them. Plus, one other (if I do say so myself, considering that she's my best friend): dith, whose stuff is on JackslashDaniel and Area52. She hasn't been writing in the fandom for very long (indeed, it surprised me when she got into it), but I love what she does with the guys. And for folks who aren't quite sure about slash but who do want J+D ship, she's done some kinda-slash-but-not pieces that I really like. (She would say, "Complicated"; I personally favor, "For Each Ecstatic Instant".)

But it's all good. All good. :)
(replying verrry belatedly, for I am lame with the commenting) Thank you kindly! Glad it worked for you. :) And I definitely agree - the Jack/Daniel relationship is the strongest and (to me) most important single one on the show. The team ties are all incredibly close, but J/D is just so much more...passionate than any of the others. *happy fangirl sigh*
I don't ship J/D - but the reasons you love them as a pairing are the reasons I love them as friends. :) Well, I adore the relationships between all the characters. They all have their own unique characteristics that make them so enjoyable, and the moments you mentioned are part of what makes Jack and Daniel's specific relationship great to me, even though I don't see it as being romantic.

*much teamlove*
(verrrry belated comment, because I'm lame) Yeah, I'm all about the OT4, absolutely. All of the relationships are just so fun and satisfying. *hearts them* J/D is just the one I like the most, really.
I'm saying what a lot of people are saying. I don't really do J/D slash but I *do* do their wonderful wonderful friendship. Sigh. I think that while both of them (or Jack at least for certain) are straight, they are as close as two guys can get without being a) related or b) lovers. Sigh.
(verry belated response, for I suck) Thank you! And yeah, this is one of the few fandoms I have where I read as much gen as I do slash, because the friendship is just so strong.
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