Title: Knowing When To Leave
Author: Jaxson K.
Pairing: Danny/Jackson, Don/Jackson (eventually)
Summary: Jackson finally realizes that Danny won't change his ways.
***Jackson sat at the table drinking a glass of wine. He looked at the clock once more to see that it was almost midnight. He finished his wine and debated on whether or not to clean up the food and the birthday cake, but decided to leave it there thinking Danny's sorry ass might see it and remember that he forgot Jackson's birthday again. Jackson honestly doubted that it would matter because Danny had been fucking up so much lately that one more thing just wouldn't matter. It might not matter to Danny, but it sure did matter to Jackson.
As he lay there waiting for sleep, the tears came. He swore he wouldn't cry, yet here he was. He was crying for many reasons: Danny forgetting his birthday 2 years in a row, all the postponed dates, the dates that never happened, and so many other things. Jackson decided that enough was enough. Either Danny was going to shape up, or Jackson was leaving. It was that simple!
The next morning found Danny with one hell of a hangover. He left the guest room and headed for the kitchen for a glass of water, and it was then he saw the mess left on the kitchen table. Curious, he walked over and saw the ruined food and what was left of the birthday cake. It said "Happy Birthday, Jacks...." The "o" and the "n" were gone. That's what Danny couldn't remember from yesterday! He knew it was something important, but couldn't remember what. Shit! This was the second year in a row he'd missed. He just knew his ass was mud, and he was going to have to do some serious damage control to try and keep the peace.
Jackson came in from the bedroom and fixed himself a cup of coffee. He never said a word to Danny, not even 'good morning'. He was looking through the morning paper when he heard Danny clear his throat and say: "Babe, can we talk?"
"What have you got to say that I would possibly want to hear right now, Daniel?"
Danny knew he was in trouble because Jackson never called him Daniel.....
"I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry fo....."
"Stop right there! Don't hand me that line about how sorry you are for missing my birthday. That shit ain't gonna cut it this time! This was the second year in a row! What's more, you didn't even bother to call. How the hell do you think that makes me feel, Danny?"
"Jackson, there was something on my mind all day yesterday, but I couldn't remember what it was...... It wasn't until I saw the ruined cake on the table that I remembered....."
"You know, it's funny.... you can remember all the things you want to do weeks in advance, but you couldn't remember something I reminded you of two days ago! Danny, let's add up all these little infractions and see what we come up with: You forgot my birthday TWICE, you've forgotten anniversaries, you've left me here alone so you could go play ball or drink with your buddies. You know, I'm starting to think that maybe you don't want a relationship. You just want a convenient fuck who cooks and cleans for you while you stay out and do whatever. I warning you, Daniel Messer, shit's about to change....." Jackson didn't give Danny a chance to reply. He gathered his things and left for work, slamming the front door hard enough to knock pictures off the walls. Danny stood there in shock. Jackson had never talked to him that way! He went and picked the pictures up and re-hung them on the walls. After that, he went into the kitchen and began cleaning up the mess from the night before.
Later that morning, Jackson was busy at the shop when Don Flack came in. Jackson stopped what he was doing and greeted his friend......
"Don! To what do I owe this unexpected visit?"
"I talked to Danny this morning after he got to work, and he told me that your birthday was yesterday....."
"It was..... he told you that he's not one of my favorite people at the moment, didn't he?"
"He might have mentioned it..... I came by because I wanted to give you something for your birthday, even if it is late....."
"Don, that's not necessary..... I do appreciate the thought, however....."
"Close your eyes...... and no peeking!"
Jackson closed his eyes and didn't peek. He could hear Don rustling around in his jacket pocket, and then Don said: "Open your eyes...." Jackson opened his eyes and saw a beautiful silver pendant of the sun and moon entwined on a beautiful silver rope chain.....
"Don, it's beautiful! You really shouldn't have....."
Don didn't say a word. He just reached behind Jackson and fastened the necklace. Just as Jackson was pulling away to ask Don how it looked, Don reached up and caressed Jackson's cheek, saying: "Happy birthday, babe!" Before Jackson could react, Don was out the front door of the shop and gone down down the sidewalk. Jackson stood there for a moment in shock. He reached up to where Don's fingers had touched his face, and thought he could still feel their presence on his skin. He went to the office and sat down for a moment, wondering what was going on with Don, and why did the man's mere presence make his heart skip a beat?
That evening, Jackson was still thinking about Don and what had happened at the shop earlier. Danny was out with some of his buddies so Jackson thought he'd give Don a call.....
"Jackson! This is a nice surprise...... what's going on?"
"Not much..... just sitting here staring at the four walls....."
"Danny went out again?"
"Yeah.... I think that if he stays gone long enough, I'll forget about last night....."
"You might be right..... that sounds like Messer......"
"I'll tell ya, Don, I'm about at the end of my rope with him....."
"Is it that bad?"
"It's pretty bad..... he's a good man, but he like he acts like a kid sometimes, and I have to say that it can get pretty nerve-wracking at times.... sometimes I wonder if I should try to see it through, or cut my losses and leave......"
"I know what I'd do....."
"I'd find a man who would treat me right and love, cherish and be good to me....."
"That sounds like heaven to me..... I wish I could find somebody like that.......
"Sometimes they're right under your nose, and you'd never know it...."
"You think so?"
"Babe, I know so!"
The call ended shortly after that because Don got a call to a scene. He promised Jackson that they would talk soon, and not to hesitate to call any time he wanted to talk. Jackson said he would and ended the call. As he sat there thinking about his call to Don, he knew he was missing something, but wasn't sure what. With everything else going on, it was no surprise that he was missing something.
Danny showed up about 3 in the morning, singing and making all kinds of noise. Jackson got out of bed to try and quiet his boyfriend down before the neighbors complained. He got Danny into the guest room where he promptly threw up all over himself and Jackson. After getting Danny to the shower, Jackson cleaned up the mess in the bedroom and had just gotten fresh sheet on the bed when Danny came in.....
"Sorry about the mess, babe...."
"Get in bed, Danny...."
"Are we gonna fuck? Huh? Are we?"
"No, Danny..... you're too drunk, and I'm tired....."
"Bullshit! C'mon, babe..... just a little head....."
Jackson turned to leave the room when Danny grabbed him by his curly hair and tried to force his head into his crotch. Jackson pulled his head up and away......
"If you EVER pull some shit like that again, I'll kill you! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME????
Jackson left the room and went to the master bedroom and locked the door. This was the final straw! He didn't know where he'd go, but he knew he couldn't stay here anymore. The shit that Danny pulled was something he swore he'd never go through again. His fucked-up drunken uncle used to try that shit when Jackson was growing up. That's why Jackson ended up in New York at 16. Enough of thinking of that! He had to form a plan, and he sure as hell had to do it soon!
He was up and out the door before Danny got up the next morning. He got the morning paper and started looking in the want ads for an apartment. Nothing was in his price range, but he kept looking anyway. He was about to give up when his cell chirped. He looked at the display to see Don's number and answered. He must have sounded a bit frantic because the first words out of Don's mouth were: "Babe, calm down....."
Jackson took a deep breath and asked what Don wanted. Don said he wanted to check on him to see if he was okay. Just the kindness and the gentleness in Don's voice sent Jackson over the edge. He was having a hard time talking to Don and crying at the same time. Don finally got Jackson to tell him where he was, and told him to stay put because he was coming to get him. Before Jackson could object, Don broke the connection. In what seemed like no time at all, Don was heading toward the park bench where Jackson was sitting. When Jackson saw Don, the tears started, and Jackson couldn't seem to get them to stop. He told Don everything about the night before while Don held him.
When Jackson was finished, Don gave him his handkerchief to dry his eyes and wipe his eye. When he got himself under control, he thanked Don for listening and for being such a good friend......
"You don't worry about that...... it's what friends do...... besides, I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to be....."
"I'm glad you're here for me...... Don, what am I gonna do about the situation with Danny?"
"What do you want to do about it, babe?"
"I want to leave him, Don...... I'm scared he's gonna pull the same shit, or worse, and I couldn't handle that...... I shouldn't be talking about any of this to you. After all, you are his best friend......"
"Was, babe.... Danny and I aren't as close as we used to be......"
"It sure doesn't seem that way....."
"I know..... it's mostly because I try to keep things work-related, and there's the fact that if I walked away from Messer, I couldn't be around you anymore..... I couldn't stand that!"
A realization came over Jackson at that moment. Don Flack had feelings for him! That explained the kind words, all the things that had come before this mess with Danny, the necklace for his birthday, and everything else. Jackson wasn't quite sure what to make of this information, and decided to see if Don would give him some answers......
"Don, I want to ask you a question....."
"What is it?"
"You have feelings for me, don't you?"
"Jackson, I have more that just feelings for you. The bald truth is that I'm in love with you, and have been almost since we met....."
"Definitely! I couldn't believe Danny had a guy like you. That didn't matter to me because I was content loving you at a distance....."
"I can't believe it!"
"You were trying to give me a hint that day when you gave me the necklace....."
"When you said a good man could be right under my nose, and I'd never know it...."
"I told you so!"
"Okay, smart ass, you told me.... Don, what the hell am I gonna do now?"
"Are you sure you want to leave him?"
"No 'buts'..... I'll help you....."
"Don, I can't ask you to get involved with all of this....."
Don leaned down and kissed Jackson to make him be quiet. He looked him in the eye and said: "I'm involving myself because I love you, and I want you with me..... what do ya say?
"I say yes!"
"I didn't hear you, babe....."
"I said yes, Don, I want to try and make a future with you...."
Don kissed Jackson again and the two left the park, Don on his way back to the precinct, and Jackson on his way to his apartment.
When Jackson arrived home, Danny was there. Tension was thick as the two men made polite conversation. It was Danny who brought up what had happened, and he certainly wasn't prepared for what he got in response.....
"Not another word about that, Danny....."
"I don't like being threatened, Jackson....."
"Don't worry, Danny..... after tonight, you won't have to be worried about me doing ANYTHING to you.... but for the record, if you had forced me, I would have killed you!"
"You might have tried! Besides, what's this about me not having to worry about you anymore?"
"I'm leaving you, Danny......"
"Don't believe me? Watch this......"
Jackson fastened his duffle bag, swung it over his shoulder, and proceeded to walk past Danny toward the front door. He stopped long enough to put his apartment key in the tray by the door, take one last look at Danny, and left.
Danny stood there completely in shock. He never dreamed something like this would happen, though he should have. Deep down he knew that he had treated Jackson badly at times, what with the drinking, staying out with his friends, not showing the little guy any attention. He wondered if he ever really loved Jackson at all. True, they got along great, they were great in bed, but when it came right down to it, he treated Jackson like a roommate with benefits. Shame washed over him like a flood, but it was too little, too late. Jackson was gone.
Jackson headed to the only place he could think of and that was Don's. The doorman told Jackson that Don had gone out for the evening, and asked if he'd like to leave a message. Jackson said there was no message. He tried both numbers he had for Don, but one went to voice mail, and the other went to Don's machine. He left Don's building and headed for a diner a couple of blocks down. All he wanted to do was get out of the rain for a while and rest. He stepped into the diner and was about to sit down when he heard the mistakable sound of Don's laughter. He glanced over to see someone sitting at the table, so he tried to make a hasty retreat.
His retreat wasn't hasty enough because he heard Don call his name. He made his way to the table and sat down......
"Phil Harris, this is the guy you and I have been talking about, Jackson Wells. Babe, this is my good friend and part-time shrink, Phil Harris....."
"It's nice to finally meet you, Jackson..... Don's told me quite a bit about you...."
"All good, I hope.... Don,I'm so sorry about barging in like this...."
"Don't worry about it..... what's with the luggage?"
"What do you think?"
"So you did it?"
"About two hours ago....."
Phil got Don's attention and told him they could talk later. Don thanked him and told him he would see him next week, same time. Phil turned to Jackson and said: "Jackson, it was nice to meet you, and I hope we can visit again soon...." Jackson thanked him, and Phil left. Don noticed that Jackson was shivering, and realized he was rain-soaked. He paid the check, and they headed to Don's place.
When they arrived, Don went straight to the bathroom and started the shower for Jackson. When it was ready, he ushered him to the bathroom door, told him to take his time, and that he would be there when he got out. Jackson took his shower, and wrapped himself in Don's robe that was hanging on the back of the door. He left the bathroom and headed to the kitchen, where Don was making hot tea for the two of them. Jackson sat down at the table and accepted the mug Don offered......
"How ya feelin'?"
"Better..... sorry about the robe..."
"Hey, that thing looks better on you than it ever did on me!"
"Don, can we talk for a minute?"
"Sure, what's on your mind?"
"It's about us......"
"Whoa whoa whoa, you ain't changin' your mind, are you?"
"No, not at all...... it's just that there are some things I need to say,and I really want to know what you think...."
"I think it would be a good idea if we..... oh, how do I put this?"
"You want to wait a while......"
"There's no need to get upset about it.... Babe, I'll wait as long as need be. Waiting is not a deal-breaker with me. Besides, I've waited this long, it won't hurt to wait a little longer..."
"Don, are you sure?"
"I'm positive..... now stop worrying about that.... what else did you want to say?"
"I want us to really get to know each other in the time we're waiting. You know, talking, sharing things....."
"Learning the lay of the land so to speak....."
"Yes..... Don, is all of this too much to ask?"
"No, it isn't..... in fact, it lets me know that you are a person of character....."
Don took Jackson by the hand and pulled him into his arms. He held him for a few moments and said: "Let's get some sleep, and we'll talk more tomorrow, okay?" He showed Jackson to the guest room and told him that if he needed anything, just yell across the hall. He gave Jackson a chaste kiss and turned to leave the room.
Sleep was a long time coming for both men. Don was restless because Jackson was just across the hall and there was nothing he could do about it yet. He vowed to keep his promise to Jackson,and he would do do if it took every ounce of willpower he had. Jackson, on the other hand was counting his blessing that he'd found a man that would respect him, and love him. He vowed then and there to be the best partner possible for Don.
Time moved on for the guys, and Don held true to his word. They talked about everything under the sun and more. Things were going well, and one afternoon, Jackson got an idea. He closed the shop early and did some shopping. He bought scented candles, rose petals, and yards of dark blue silk which happened to be Don's favorite color. He hurried home, lit the candles throughout the bedroom, took a shower, and wrapped himself in the blue silk. He settled in to wait for Don to come home.
Don had one hell of a day at work. A suspect got away, and he was buried in mountains of paperwork. He was a bit late getting out of the precinct, and was very anxious to get away from the stress of the day. When he got home, he called out to Jackson but got no response. He called out again, and heard Jackson say that he was in the bedroom. He headed down the hall and caught the distinct aroma of sandalwood. He stopped still in the bedroom door, breathless at the sight before him. Sandalwood candles burned everywhere, and there, propped up on the headboard was Jackson wearing what appeared to be yards of blue silk. Don's dick immediately became erect, and he asked Jackson: "Baby, what's all this?"
"I figured it was about time, Donnie....."
"That's exactly what I mean!"
Don stepped toward the bed, shedding clothes along the way. He stopped short when he got to his boxers. "What are you stopping for, Don"; Jackson asked.
"This is a two way street, babe! You show me your, and I'll damn sure show you mine!!!"
Jackson reached and flung the sheet open. Don stood there for a moment and simply said: "Dear God....."
"Is something wrong, Don?"
"Hell, no! Baby, everything's right. I just can't get over how sexy you are. You're sexier than any of the fantasies I had about you....."
Not much talk happened after that. The guys got down to business, and both men agreed that it was worth waiting for........
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