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Title: Shared Secrets
Author name: Icarus
Author email: icarus_ancalion@yahoo.com
Count:
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Jack and Daniel
Summary: Daniel shares a bit of his past. Daniel casually said as he cut the mold off the cheese, "Oh, yeah, I sort of developed the ability to eat anything."
DISCLAIMER: The characters and universe contained in this story are Copyright MGM, Showtime, Gekko, Double Secret. No infringement on their copyright is implied, and the author relinquishes all right to litigation should a future storyline coincide with this story in any way (and in fact I would be quick pleased if the Jack and Daniel relationship developed in this way - though I doubt the Air Force would be pleased). Copyright 2004 by Icarus Ancalion. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or part without the author's explicit permission. Ask, guys. I'm easy to reach and usually quite generous.
Author notes: Written for Destina, in response to a discussion about how Abused!Daniel should be written (if ever).

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Shared Secrets
By Icarus

Daniel casually said as he cut the mold off the cheese, "Oh, yeah, I sort of developed the ability to eat anything."

Jack tipped his head quizzically.

"Well, when I lived at Edna's -- she wasn't very good at keeping up with the groceries." The knife clicked on the cutting board as Daniel sliced. "I once had to pick the bugs out of an entire container of oatmeal. But the bugs looked just like the oatmeal flakes so you really couldn't get them all." Daniel wrinkled his nose. "It was better not to look."

Jack's brows drew together. "Daniel, that's...."

Daniel shrugged. "She meant well. Just... took on more kids than she could handle. A lot of foster parents are like that: more heart than sense. But that was why I was so mad at Nick. I kept thinking that if he had taken me in I wouldn't be there."

He crossed the room and laid the cheese tray in front of Jack. "I don't think there's any mold on it now," he chuckled, "but you'd better check."

"Yeah. Guess so," Jack said, his face dark with concern.

Daniel swept the bangs off his forehead. "I was only there six months. A social worker caught on and took all of us away. Which was hard on Edna; I didn't know what to say to her, except goodbye. It was too bad though, because some of them had been in places much worse." He picked up a slice of cheese and sighed as he sat down.

"I got lucky after that. Peg and Kevin were really... kind. And I was the only one they took in. That's rare. I was there from seventh grade till I went to college."

"You must've been a cute little tyke," Jack observed softly.

Daniel snorted with a smile. "I was very, very good. When I saw that I was gonna have my own room, and video games..."

"Nintendo -?" Jack looked up hopefully.

"Atari."

"Oh yeah..." Jack tipped back in his chair.

"I saw that and I wanted to stay for sure." Daniel gave an embarrassed grin. "Even with my parents," he said, "a lot of times I had to put away my bed in the morning so we could have the living room back." He popped another slice of cheese into his mouth and smiled softly. "You can't make a living in archeology."

Jack leaned forward and set his beer on the coffee table.

"Daniel? Anyone ever tell you your life sucked? I mean, really sucked."

"Oh, I don't think so. I got to see the world." Daniel borrowed a sip of Jack's beer. He had edged into a sunbeam and the light caught bright blue eyes. "If anything the rough spots gave me an appreciation that some people were worse off than me."

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Icarus